Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)
TITLE: The Sense of Scents
By Angela M. Baker-Bridge
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As my eyes focus I notice unfamiliar objects on the nightstand, a toy truck, a Children’s Bible, a yo-yo, and a picture frame, all blocking the alarm clock. Sitting upright, I put on my glasses and turn off the alarm as I turn on the basketball shaped lamp. I smile, realizing where I am. In the past I enjoyed visiting my son and daughter-in-law. Now I’m overjoyed to visit them, and their sons, my grandsons.
Looking around the room I take in all the objects that capture the heart of little boys. There are trains on the floor, a bookcase filled with various balls, beginning reader books, mega-blocks, play dough, craft containers, and stuffed animals. Near-by is a brightly colored toy box overflowing with miniature trucks, cars, airplanes, motorcycles, and toy soldiers. A plastic basketball hoop fills the corner. The walls display numerous pictures of professional athletes, a growth chart, pendants, and hooks for baseball caps. Bright red curtains cover the windows. “They’re growing up so fast,” I whisper as I sigh. My memory flashes back to the days when this room was a pastel nursery.
Realizing everyone will be up soon to get ready for work and school, I decide to shower first before having my morning tea and devotions. I gather my toiletries and tiptoe to the bathroom adjacent to the bedroom. The hot water washes away the remnant of sleepiness from my mind and body. No longer in a state of drowsiness, I primp, dress, and prepare myself for the day ahead. Quietly I put away my things, drop off my towel in the laundry room, and head for the kitchen.
Opening the kitchen cabinet, I smile as my eyes search for a mug hidden behind Sippy cups and glasses with cartoon characters. After preparing my mug of tea, I place it on the small table next to the burnt-orange velvety wingback chair that once graced my living room. My worn out Bible is still on the table from the night before. As I sit in my old chair I recall when my own children sat on my lap in this same chair over thirty years ago. I wonder if they ever remember those days, if my grandchildren will remember this visit or remember me at all.
My trip down memory lane is interrupted by footsteps coming down the hallway. My four year old grandson enters the room, still in his pajamas, grinning from ear-to-ear. I reach out my arms to him, gesturing for him to give me a hug.
“I hope I didn’t wake you up. I tried to be as quiet as I could be.”
He approaches me still smiling and shaking his head. “I knew it, I knew you were up and already showered. I was right, but not because I heard you.”
As he wraps his arms around my neck, I kiss his cheek. “Then how did you know Grandma was up, and even showered if you didn’t hear me?”
“Because from the bedroom I could smell you!” he animatedly exclaims.
“What do you mean, you could smell me?”
“At night you don’t smell like you do after you shower. I always know it’s you in the morning because you smell different then everybody else and I can smell you even from the other room.”
“Like a yucky smell?”
“Oh no, you have a nice Grandma smell.”
I hold him tightly as he lays his head down on my shoulders. My eyes well up with tears. Not just because of the splendor of this moment, or the sweetness of his comment, but because of what I suddenly remember…my great-grandmother’s visits and how sweet she smelled after bathing. I loved her blend of Ivory soap, Shower-to-Shower powder, and Noxzema. It has been decades since she left us, yet I’ve never forgotten how she smelled. At this moment I feel confident my grandson will remember me long after I’ve passed on from this life too, at least for how I smell after a shower for my scent of powder, lotion, and perfume have touched deep within the senses of his soul.
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