Mary Nazzaro said she would give everything to have what was inside an oak humidor snatched by thieves from her dresser Tuesday.
Among roses from the funeral service and a braid of her snipped hair were the ashes of her husband of 36 years, Jeff, who died suddenly on Feb. 11, 2012.
"They probably could've taken anything in this house but that," she said.
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday, when Nazzaro was watching her two young grandchildren next door at her daughter's house, somebody forced entry through the front door of her house on McCall Drive just northwest of Longmont.
She said they stole her laptop and the Daniel Marshall-brand cigar box with their wedding bands on top, probably thinking a hefty weight of jewels were inside.
Along with his love of drumming and the ocean, Jeff appreciated a good cigar. She said he donated his 1920s smoking jacket to Longmont's Havana Manor and purchased a beautiful, deep Daniel Marshall humidor.
"We thought, what better place to keep his ashes than in the humidor?" she said.
Finally ready for closure, Nazzaro said she planned to spread Jeff's ashes with her two daughters, son and two grandchildren in Blowing Rock Preserve in Hobe Sound, Fla. She said the burglary, just days before the anniversary of his death, reignited the pain.
"We were robbed, but we were robbed of something more important ... those closing memories," she said.
Boulder County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Robinson responded to the call Tuesday afternoon. He said he can't remember the last time he worked a burglary in his district, which includes Lyons and north Longmont.
"The north part is a very peaceful area," he said. "Criminal mischief is car trespasses, things like that."
Another deputy in training took the case, but Robinson said he hopes for the best.
"I'm hoping that even though they're criminals that they'd have some compassion," he said.
Nazzaro also holds onto the hope that either the robber will return the ashes or somebody will find the bag on the side of the road.
"I just have to get to that place where it's OK that the ashes are going to be where they end up, but if anybody does come across them ..." she said.