Thursday, February 6, 2014

when life doesn't make scents anymore...

puppies.  warm, pudgy,  downy fur.  cup them in your hands and hold them close.  draw them near and there is that scent that smells only of puppy.  babies have it too.  swaddled in a receiving blanket, in a mid-day slumber with a belly full of milk.  i could rest comfortable on the sofa holding puppies & babies until they become restless and in need of a change of pace.  but while i sit there in their presence, i drink in the scent that defines them.  as they grow into dogs & toddlers, interacting with the world more {most likely it is when they start crawling around on the ground and running wild outside-and consume more than just milk}, the scent fades and the memory is pressed into a tiny spot in the back of my mind, only to be recalled when another baby or pup is placed in my hands.

pjm traveled some over the years of his career.  on those nights when he was absent, i would use his pillow for the night-to sense his presence.  like puppies & babies, there was a scent that was uniquely his.  we probably all have our very own "smell" like fingerprints.  he would return home after being away, and greet me with a warm embrace-welcoming & safe.  and in the moments of standing securely in his arms, i would bury my face into his chest and again, his aura would be there.

but now, it has vanished.  on our visits, he smells of nothing but a little bit of "old"- if that is truly a scent.  when i greet him with a hug, i lean in, searching for that aroma of that man. the mixture of his deodorant, our laundry soap, his work & play, our shampoo, his shaving cream, but it is has dissipated. and i wonder if it's like the puppies & babies but in reverse. he is no longer that driven man fiercely working & playing out his daily life.  instead he is sauntering & living with so much old & sick, that old is all i can smell.

dear  aroma.
his jacket-his pillow-his big white truck.
they used to be full of you, making them distinctly him.
but over time you have faded away.
become diluted because he is no longer in your presence.
like so many parts of him,
i wish there was a way to have preserved you,
as a reminder of him.


  1. I am so sorry my friend that you were not able to bottle up the scent that made pjm yours forever. His new scent is not really his but goes with this stage of his life and his surroundings. Prayers for a stuffy nose on visiting days and never stop being scent- imental! Love you��

    1. there are so many parts of him i wish i could place in a time capsule and tuck away to have forever...and while i know that's what my memory and these words are isn't the same!

  2. This instantly brought tears to my eyes. Funny how scent can play such an important role!
    xo Laura

    1. yes, laura, it is so funny the memories a scent can stir and how sad it feels when that smell is forever gone. love!