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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fragrance (10/24/05)

TITLE: Memories of Mama
By Shelley Snyder


Alison sat on the edge of the bed in the darkened room. It had only been a week since Mama had died, and the funeral had been earlier this afternoon. At present, several friends and family members were gathered downstairs for the after-funeral get together in her mother’s honour.

She had listened as several people offered their condolences, but couldn’t handle it any longer. She couldn’t bear to hear anyone else tell her how sorry they were, or that Mama was in a better place now, safe with Jesus and out of pain. It was too hard to hear those words; the pain was still too fresh. So, she had snuck upstairs to get away from everyone, seeking solace in Mama and Dad’s room.

She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, inhaling the lingering fragrance of Mama’s favourite perfume. The scent still lingered in the air almost as though Mama had recently sprayed it.

Alison recalled that smell powerful, because scents often sparked memories associated with them. She inhaled again as she heard faint laughter drift upstairs from the crowd below. Mama had had a great laugh, she remembered. It was almost musical in sound, and Alison had always loved to hear it. Often as a child, Alison would tell her jokes just so she could hear Mama laugh. She had been such a jovial person, and Alison had inherited that characteristic from her.

As she opened her eyes and looked around the room, her gaze fell on the night stand beside the bed. Mama’s Bible was opened to the Psalms, where she had been reading before being admitted to the hospital. The Book was well worn, verses highlighted and underlined, with written sermon notes in the margins in her neat script. It was Mama’s favourite book, and they had done daily devotions together for several years now; it was their special time together with God.

Mama had been such a Godly woman, and had blessed many people throughout her life. Even during her fight with cancer she had trusted the Lord and believed that He would take care of her. She had never prayed for a miracle, that God would remove her cancer, but her prayers had been ones asking for strength, comfort and peace that could only come from her Saviour. She wanted God’s will for her life, even if it did not mean receiving a cure. All that mattered to her was that she would remain faithful to Him throughout this experience.

Mama had always given of herself freely to all, helping at church, and doing various tasks for others. She sacrificed for all, encouraged, listened and loved. She was a real servant for Jesus in every way possible. She had given of herself freely for Jesus, and had always told Alison that she did what she did because of Jesus being in her heart. She didn’t do these things because she had to, but because she desired to; it came naturally and unselfishly to her.

Even during her illness, Mama prayed that the Lord would use her; and together she and Mama had rejoiced when Dad had accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour of his life, a mere two months before her hospitalization. He had said that it was because Mama had often quoted the twenty-third Psalm and it seemed to comfort her a great deal. That had made him curious about the whole ‘God issue’, as he had called it.

Needing to pray herself, Alison knelt beside the bed. “Dear Father, thank you for giving me Mama and letting me be shaped and molded by her over the years. Thank you for working in her life to create such a Godly role model for not only me, but also for other women.” She paused to sniff, and continued. “God, I hurt and ache because Mama isn’t here. I miss her and I know she is with You and I will see her again, but Lord I hurt! Please help me feel Your presence, Your comfort and peace. Help me to get through this, because only You can help right now.”

Alison sprayed a little of Mama’s perfume into the air and let the scent envelope her. She crawled onto the bed and hugged Mama’s Bible to her chest. Tears began to flow freely again, but she didn’t stop them. She fell asleep and dreamed of memories of Mama, memories that God had given her and used to comfort her now.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/02/05
Very tenderly written.
Karen O'Leary11/02/05
Nice thoughts. I think this could be made stronger with a flash back scene of a conversation with the teller and her mama. It would give some variety and add interest to this story. Best wishes with it.
Garnet Miller 11/02/05
What a beautiful story!:)
dub W11/03/05
A good narrative, thanks for sharing this touching essay. blessings - dub
Nina Phillips11/03/05
Sweet memories, and comforting thoughts. God bless ya, littlelight
Karen Ward11/03/05
Sweet story. I agree some flashbacks would help it to come alive even more. I think you could leave out the line: "Alison recalled that smell powerful, because scents often sparked memories associated with them." No need to tell us that, you are showing it, which is great. Watch the spelling of "envelop", but that was my favourite line: "Alison sprayed a little of Mama’s perfume into the air and let the scent envelop her." Great!
:) Karen
Tisha Martin 11/05/05
this was beautifully written. thanks for sharing
Shari Armstrong 11/05/05
A well written, touching story.
Alexandra Wilkin11/07/05
I think any one who is dealing with bereavement will empathise with this. Very tender, very sweet. God bless.