Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)

TITLE: The Scent of a Memory
By Rachel Burkum


I was doing fine until I picked up that worn blue handkerchief and held it to my face. My nostrils were immediately taken hostage by the fresh aroma and my emotions were yanked from their secure lodgings in my heart. Though I scrunched my eyes tightly shut, they could not withstand the torrent of tears rushing like a river from my aching soul. The handkerchief quickly became saturated with my watery grief as I silently rocked, seated on the spongy mattress.

Gramma Jane had been my light...my guidance...my world. Why had she been taken so quickly? Why? My heart screamed the question, hurling it with anger towards God, whom I blamed...but not deep down. I knew it wasn't right to blame Him. I knew that sometimes death of loved ones simply couldn't be explained.

At the funeral, I had remained a stoic bulwark, offering comfort to everyone else grieving, while I buried my own sorrow in places I hoped could not be felt. I didn't want to feel. I didn't want to hurt.

But as I sat on Gramma Jane's bed and discovered the handkerchief she'd never been without, all of my pent up energy seemed to explode, making me a blubbering mess. I was glad that I had come alone today - my mother would not come for several hours yet, so I was free to roam the house and look through Gramma Jane's things.

She'd gone peacefully - at least that's what I had been told. Though a shock, perhaps there was a small amount of relief that God had been merciful, not allowing her to suffer a long death. But that didn't seem to soothe my pain much.

I'm not sure how long I cried or when I fell asleep, but when I awoke, my head was resting on her pillow, the blue cotton fabric still in my grasp. My eyes hurt now, but somehow exhaustion and rest had done their job, gently prying me from my anger. I knew that just because I had lost Gramma Jane, that didn't mean my life was over, too. I knew that if she could have spoken to me, that she would have told me to live life to the fullest and to not worry about her - she was quite happy.

An unexpected smile sneaked out to nestle in the corner of my mouth. I could just imagine her dancing with the angels and bombarding God with all the questions she'd ever had. I was left without her, but I knew she was happy.

Managing to sit up, I looked at the handkerchief again, smoothed it out, folded it, unfolded it, smoothed it and folded it again. To someone else, this little piece of cloth would mean nothing. But it was a part of my grandma - a part that I remembered from a little girl on. And that scent...that sweet scent...

I put the handkerchief to my face once more, breathing deeply the perfume embedded in the fibers. Though the sorrow lingered in my soul and though the pain still raged through my veins, this seemingly insignificant item had become the one thing I would cherish. Just like Gramma Jane, I would tuck it in my pocket - but for entirely different reasons.

Thank you, God, for gifting me with a memory I will carry with me always.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 616 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Brown08/06/10
You captured both grief and hhope. Well done.May God Bless you, rut
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/06/10
Smell is a powerful memory trigger and it's wonderful when it takes our minds back to our loved ones. Great storytelling.
Sandra Petersen 08/11/10
I have small things I keep which remind me of my grandmas also. None with a scent though. Good writing.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge08/11/10
Well expressed raw emotion that led to healing...I know I can relate and I'm sure many others can as well.
Caitlyn Meissner08/11/10
I really liked your article. My Grandma has a certain scent that I'll always remember with fondness.

I think it would be hard to fit the whole grieving process into 750 words. You tell us how upset your MC is because she loved her dead grandma, but we never get the chance to know what her grandma was like. The only glimpse I caught of grandma was when you said "I could just imagine her dancing with the angels and bombarding God with all the questions she'd ever had." I loved that description, but it wasn't enough to let me grieve along with the MC.

Still, you have a great writing style, and I liked the message you wrote into this piece. Thank you. :)
Melanie Kerr 08/11/10
It is amazing how something so small can have huge memories attatched. I loved the phrase "taken hostage" at the start of the story. I think there was a little too much of "telling" rather than "showing".
Lollie Hofer08/11/10
I like how you showed the progression of grief...the sadness, anger, and eventually the good memories. You did a good job of showing her emotions without forcing it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/11/10
Your story is a memorable little snippet of life--remembrance of a loved one through a scent associated with her.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/11/10
I think you did a great job showing your grief and memories. Your feelings and emotions can only be told by your voice. I easily visualized the funeral and the scene in the bedroom. You do an amazing job of pulling me into your stories and allowing me to feel my own past griefs.
Edmond Ng 08/12/10
A piece with well expressed emotions written in it.