It was a simple thing. Nothing outstanding, but it defines her.
The fragrance was named Persian Wood. She bought it every couple of months from the local Avon lady.
I remember the bottles. They were midnight blue with silvery lettering that slopped up to a silver bubbled cap.
I remember the scent. It was musky.
It was her. It was a paradox of her beauty.
At 97 she has lived in the same simple frame house her husband built for her with lumber from their own trees over 70 years ago. A house she made him disassemble and move board-by-board when he sold the homestead to buy a few acres close to town.
She is sturdy. In her lifetime she has buried a husband, one boyfriend, two of her five children, one grandchild and a few great-grandchildren. No woman wants that.
When her husband passed, leaving her a young widow with children to raise, she took a job as a cook in the local high school lunchroom. Not formerly educated beyond the sixth grade, it did not hinder her. She continued to read and learn. Over time she become the most knowledgeable “lunchroom lady” in her area. Her devotion to the student’s health and the state’s budget motivated her to develop an exemplar menu. A menu certified dieticians have not been able to improve.
She loves football, especially the Miami Dolphins. She loves deep sea fishing. She loves motor cycles. She loves her grandchildren. She loves pretty clothes. She loves working in her garden. She loves her cats.
And she loves her church.
All of her friends, like her, are widowed. They all sit together on the same pew in church. The “blue hair” pew as it is affectionately named.
They are a joy to watch. Despite their age and personal tragedies, they are beautifully feminine. They continue to groom and preen like birds at a bath. And their fragrances blend. A new aroma. A scent that can be a little overpowering at times.
Maybe because they are older they do not know how potent their application of perfume is.
Whatever … it is what it is.
Our women’s ministry is named, “The Aroma of Christ,” and it is supported by the constant prayers of these women. Like the perfume my grandmother adored, their prayers are strong, study and waft the air with the sweet aroma of being in the presence of Christ.
But for my children, they will always be lovingly called…
“The Stinky Jesus Gals”
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