Sunday, May 13, 2012


In the wooden cupboard next to my bathroom sink sits a small collection of perfumeries, carefully selected out of sentimental affection.  There is Chanel #5.  David’s mother wore that on our wedding day.  I remember, after Dave’s dad passed away, cleaning off his bedroom dresser.  Mom Connors had died suddenly and tragically in a car accident over a decade before.  There on his tall dresser was a dusty pile of change, an old watch, and a bottle of Chanel #5.

My own mother, when she had dried her tears, straightened her shoulders and moved forward after my dad left, bought herself a bottle of Norrell perfume.  I remember lying on her big comfy bed watching her dress for her long work day.  She had such a great sense of style, all the way down to her bra. I’d watch her lightly spritz her perfume behind her ears, under her arms, with one final spray on her fleshy forearm.  She ended by rubbing her two inner arms together.  I lay on her bed watching her, inhaling the subtle sweetness.
There are other women in my life who have particular scents.  Nothing overpowering.  The kind of scent you unconsciously recognize when you hug someone.  If I were to lose my sight I am grateful to know those aromas.

Today I stood at my bathroom sink and one by one added scents to various places on my skin, remembering these women I adore, thanking our Maker for putting them in my life. Beginning with good plain soap, in honor of those who don't care for fragrances. I know, you think it would smell just awful, like you’d just walked through the fragrance aisle at Kaufmann’s.  But it is surprisingly good, like that room in the massive greenhouse where all the flowers are in bloom.  

If I am especially fragrant today it is only because I am especially grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women in my life.