Friday, April 1, 2011


For years she had been the little girl next door.  It was cold, so my son loaned her his sweatshirt.  She pulled it over her head, grinned and said, "It smells like your house."

My house smells?

"What does my house smell like? " I asked.

"I'm not sure," she answered.  "It has a smell all its own."


Jostling through an urban grocery store, his goal was to buy produce.  He loved the pace of this new life; so much hustle, so much action, so much to entertain.  He happened upon the berries by accident...they seemed surprisingly out of place in his mind.  He breathed deeply and in an instant was transported back to cool summers, a raspberry patch, and playing in the midnight sun.

They smelled like his childhood.


Beautiful bottles, beautifully many to choose from.  They picked it together, her own special scent.  And though it smells like her, it reminds her of him.

And now it hurts too much to wear.


He transferred during high school.

It must have been hard joining a small class of kids who had been together since kindergarten.

He was funny.  I liked him.  He stopped by the office a few times to chat.  And when graduation came, I made him a quilt.

He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  There was a wrong choice.

And then his parents had to make the impossible choice that offers no choice.  He was gone.  They had to say goodbye.

It took a few weeks for his roommates to gather up his things and drop them by the house.

They brought his quilt.

His parents held it to their faces...then wrapped themselves in grief and longing.  Awash in tears, hearts aching...they once again held a tangible piece of their son....

It smelled like him.

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