Posted by: Ken Wheatley | December 25, 2011

The Brighter Side

The box sat on the side counter in the kitchen for a few months. The part of the counter that Sheila had her photos, mail, nicknacks, phone, notes…

It was the original box that contained her wig. I had finally moved the wig from the stand in the bathroom and wrapped it up in the tan tissue paper, placing it all back in the box. It made it from the back of the house to the front of the house. Baby steps…

So after several months of looking at the box, I was finally able to donate it this past Thursday to The Brighter Side, a boutique for women who have cancer (

I hadn’t been back there since we bought the wig, and was surprised how impactful it was to walk through the door. You hear about how scents bring back memories. The combination of physically being there, and smelling the pleasant scents, immediately, tangibly, brought back the days that we wandered around the store looking at the various hats and clothing items all designed to make the unfortunate process of dealing with cancer more palatable.

I handed the box carefully to the woman behind the desk. They accept donations for women who can’t afford to buy a wig. I hoped, as I’m sure Sheila would have, that someone will have better luck with it than she did. I told the woman that my wife didn’t make it, and I wanted them to have it now. She nodded a couple a times, offered her heartfelt condolences – as I’m sure she’s had to do more times than she would care to remember – and placed the box on the corner of the desk.

After I left I sat in the car, Sheila’s car, and felt the weight of the moment. How sad. How much I still miss her. How sorry I am that she’s not here to love, in person.

As I left the small parking lot I was struck by the name of the business. Hopefully, in fact, Sheila is in a brighter, happier place. The name made me feel a little better, actually.

So on this third Christmas without you, I’m sending you my deep love and tons of kisses as I do everyday. Merry Christmas, Sheila.



  1. Merry Christmas, Ken.

  2. Merry Christmas to you as well, Debbie. Hugs to both of you. The best for the new year…

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. It never gets easier. Sure, there may be fewer tears as the years go by, but that void is still there.

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