One year ago today my mother passed away. I was 24 and she was only 47. Weeks away from 48 and so close to Mother's Day. She was a cancer survivor but the treatment, in the end, killed her. As a child all the radiation and medication she got built up in her body and over time caused it to shut down. My whole family was there at her side as she slipped into a coma and passed away in her sleep. Three days before, I combed out my nearly year old set of dreads. I did not do it because she disliked my dreads. I did it because of how much she loved my brushable hair. I wanted her to have that one last time. I left it undreaded for a while. Three months later I had it cut for my wedding. Which, sadly, she only saw from Heaven. Almost three months after that, on my Husbands birthday, I redreaded my hair. It took all twelve hours of his workday and a box of tissues for my tears. I was crying for my mother and for all like her. I now have a dread dedicated to her. All my dreads mean something to me. A path, a journey, a passing of time. Ever trinket in my hair has some special importance. Every wrap. bead, and peice of my son's hospital pasifier. I do now see this dread journey coming to an end anytime soon. And on this the one year anniversiery of my mother's death, I look back and see how much not only my hair has grown, but how much I have as well.