Sunday, March 21, 2010

Miss that Smell

I was cleaning the linen closet yesterday, getting ready for my son's mega-sleep over for his birthday, and I ran across one of my mom's old sheets. I kept just this one, I could vividly remember this sheet, we used it a couple of times when we picnicked at Pemaquid Beach, and I remember it on her bed. That bed was something "off limits" to us kids, only on very rare occasions were we allowed to nap in there or even be in my parent's room at all. But the sheet smelled like my mom, like our house, so I kept it. It was way back in the corner of the linen closet. I knew it was there in the back of my mind but hadn't seen it or run across it in years. Finding it, I could still recall the memories but the smell was gone, so I was a bit sad. Smell seems to help me recall memories, helps me feel like I am back in the moment. And now that part of my memory of my mom is gone.

I am sad, at times, that my mom's death was so sudden. Not that I feel like I didn't have a chance to say goodbye, that wasn't important to me. My mom knew how much I loved her and I knew how much she loved me, we talked often even though we were an ocean apart. But sometimes I feel like I missed out on so much time with her. And my boys missed knowing her. Occasionally Phil will comment "I wish I had grandparents", he has none. And I can't change that, but I do talk about my parents, so he knows what they were like, the things my parents did with me etc. Just so he has some sense of a family beyond his parents.

I love those smells. I was just telling Jackson the other day, when we walked outside that it smelled like spring. And for a moment, I felt like I was walking out behind the house I grew up in, back in Maine. Just that smell of everything coming alive. This past winter I commented that it smelled like Fall in Maine, just that crisp, cool air, with a cool breeze. The winters here are pretty mild, so to me it smelled like Fall in Maine. Just takes me back.

There are times I miss my mom, but I know that if she were alive things would be very different for me. Chances are we would not have chosen North Carolina as a place to live, we would have chosen Maine, to be close to my parents. And with that choice would have come a different group of friends, maybe I would not have chosen to homeschool etc. So I do see the chain of events. And I know that the one event, that was beyond my control, has led to a joyful life with wonderful friends, and living a life I can't imagine being different. Hmmm how things do shape our lives and our choices.

So I always remember one of the things my mom used to tell me, "everything will work out the way it is supposed to be." And I smile, even through the occasional sadness.
"Smells and tastes remain within me
as if they had souls, haunting me
reminding me of the past.
Will this ever pass I hope not
as I don't want to lose that
part of Mother that stays within me." Robritt

4 comments:

Tara said...

I can't think of anything to say that seems worthy of this entry...beautifully written Pam.

Terry said...

Pam,
The smell is still there. If not actually in the sheet, it is in your mind and heart. I kept 2 pot holders of moms that were in her kitchen. Believe it or not, I opened the zip lock bag and the smell was not there anymore (greasey smell). But I can still smell it, even without the pot holders. I miss everyone who has passed and think of all of them often.
Love you,
Aunt Terry

Terry said...

Pam,
The smell is still there. If not actually in the sheet, it is in your mind and heart. I kept 2 pot holders of moms that were in her kitchen. Believe it or not, I opened the zip lock bag and the smell was not there anymore (greasey smell). But I can still smell it, even without the pot holders. I miss everyone who has passed and think of all of them often.
Love you,
Aunt Terry

Anonymous said...

Sis, beautifully well written/spoken. I miss them too and wish I had the smell othr than just in my mind. Love, Jeff