Friday, January 30, 2009

When I stepped into the shower yesterday morning I carried with me a new bottle of shower gel that I’d bought several months ago when BBW was having a sale. I’d used the remainder of the previous bottle the day before and congratulated myself on remembering to grab a replacement bottle before I was immersed in the water.

Absent-mindedly, I’d opened the bottle and squirted a small amount in my hand. Rubbing my hands together I worked up a good lather and set about my business of the morning. A moment later I paused and inhaled deeply.

Suddenly I was transported to a small house on 12th Avenue. A tan, brown and orange-striped couch sat along the window. Along the opposite wall hung a large rectangular mirror, reflecting sunlight from the window. I can see the closet in the hallway; door held closed by a hook and eye, and the distinct scent of band-aids when it is opened. Just steps away is the master bedroom. It is overwhelmingly blue and wooden. The few occasions that I was invited inside (because I didn’t enter if I was not invited, it would be rude) I remember the vanity, the jewelry. There were treasures in that room that were produced occasionally, seemingly nonchalantly, but were always fascinating to me.

Another deep breath and the fragrance permeates my memory.

She is there, smiling at me, her arms enveloping me. Her voice, if I could hear it again, I would recognize immediately but the years have faded it to a whisper. It was distinctive. Scratchy yet smooth. Squeaky and melodic.

She is standing in the kitchen popping popcorn. She is in the garden, nearly covered by plants. I can smell the earth and the tomato plants mingling in the summer air. She is directing me how to pull the ends off the green beans. I am digging in her purse for a candy breath mint.

I look at the bottle. Gardenia. My grandmother smelled like gardenia and it’s taken sixteen years for me to remember the scent of her.


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Aweigh post below.

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Jennifer said...

That was beautiful, Heather. So vivid. It made me cry a little. Thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Loved it! Amma

Mrs. Swizzle said...

All I can say is awesome!

great auntie sue said...

oh my, that is such a memory. I miss her everyday!

Kelsey said...

That was so beautiful. You have a knack for evoking images :)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh wow. I love how scents will take you back. I love that scent, too. For me, there is something about lily of the valley- it reminds me of something I think I was too young to remember but always have a good feeling about!

Steph

Mrs. Chicken said...

Oh, I love this.

You are so lucky to have these kinds of memories.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

ooohhhh I love when that happens...what a wonderful moment.

Bethiclaus said...

Beautiful post. They say olfactory memories are the strongest ones.

Guinevere Meadow said...

Fragrances often trigger memories for me.

I hope someone from BBW sees this post- you should come up with some advertising campaigns for them!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post... Beautiful memory
KaB

chelle said...

Oh so sweet!

Damselfly said...

Aw. This is beautiful.

Heather said...

She was a beautiful woman. Thanks all for the very sweet comments.

 
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