Add this to section of your website

Worthy of a Hand Carry

When asked, “What’s your most prized possession?” You might answer immediately, thinking of an expensive piece of jewelry or maybe a photo album. 

These are the things you hand carry during a move, or store in a safe.

But if you think about it a little further, there is generally something that brings a smile to your face. 


About five years ago, as I was getting ready for a military function, I asked my daughter to add special embellishments to my hair.


This wasn’t the first time I’ve asked her to adorn my hair with these pins, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

But, as my little ballerina was fashioning my hair into an elegant bun, she asked about the sparkly hairpins I handed to her as the finishing touches.

Her question made me smile a smile that spreads across my face each time I think about it. These pins aren’t fancy, but they are special.


These pins have a story.


I don’t actually remember the purchase, but I do remember the occasion.

It was my husband’s prom and I wanted to wear something special in my hair.  I’m almost certain they were purchased at Claire’s, as was most jewelry in the 90s. 

Almost 25 years ago, a hairdresser tucked those hairpins securely into my French twist.

The next year, I wore them again to my senior prom. The year after, I wore them with a shiny black dress to my very first ROTC Dining Out. Same boy, same pins.



And without even consciously deciding it, thus began a tradition.


Those hairpins have been with me on every single formal occasion in our history, and they’ve made appearances at not-so-formal occasions, too.

Countless military balls, dining outs, award banquets, anniversaries, and industry dinners. I wore them at our wedding. 

As my daughter placed them into my hair that day, she asked if someday, I’d wear them to her wedding.

I smiled that same knowing smile. Yes, they’ll be there then, too.


As military families, our lives are often filled with unpredictability.


Perhaps that’s why these pins hold such a special place in my heart. When I see them, or even just think about them, memories flash through my mind.

I’m sure they cost no more than six or seven dollars, but today they are a priceless treasure.

Last month, as I got ready for another military function, my now-teenage daughter was once again artfully arranging my hair. This time, as she decided how to style me, she asked for the hairpins and gave thought as to their placement before brushing a single strand. 


They’re in our memory boxes.


They’re the things that we cherish and will tell stories about to our grandkids.

The things that smile when you set them lovingly in a jewelry box nestled next to your grandmother’s pearls. 

So, when the movers next pack up our worldly possessions, whenever that may be, I can assure you that those hairpins will be safely tucked away and hand carried along with vital documents and my daughter’s baby book.

Those hairpins are a part of our story.

*Visit Sheila Rupp on our Expert Blogger Page.



  • Sheila Rupp

    Sheila Rupp is originally from Michigan and is married to her high school sweetheart. She is a copy editor and writer with 20 years of experience. Like many military spouses, Sheila’s career has varied greatly over the years while staying within the communications field. Sheila has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, and a minor in professional writing from the University of New Mexico.  Sheila is a military spouse of 20 years. Having spent the first 17 years as an Air Force spouse, she is now a proud Space Force spouse after her spouse transitioned to the newest branch. In her free time, you’ll find Sheila on hiking trails, curled up with a good book, watching her daughter dance, or traveling the globe. Sheila is currently based in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and dog.


  1. Anne Hager

    I love the eay you shar this beautiful story.

    • Sheila rupp

      Thank you so much for reading!

  2. LaVaughn

    sweetest story ever! How beautiful that a small, simple item can become such a treaure and carry on a legacy!

    • Kathleen Palmer

      Completely agree LaVaughn!

    • sheila rupp

      Thanks for reading! Definitely something we will pass down!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904


Pin It on Pinterest

Verified by ExactMetrics