Daily Prompt: Smell You Later
Humans have very strong scent memory. Tell us about a smell that transports you.
One of the lesser known aspects of Parkinson’s Disease is the loss of smell. I used to have a strong sense of smell, and I don’t know exactly when I actually began to experience a diminishing of this sense, but I do remember one instance that occurred when I was taking morning walks with a friend. She mentioned that she put gardenia blossoms in a bowl of water and the fragrance filled the house. I tried this and noticed nothing fragrant at all. When I could no longer smell my roses, I knew something was amiss.
However, the greatest blow this loss has dealt me is that I can no longer smell lilacs. I grew up in the house next door to my grandmother’s. My sister and I loved spending time with her. She baked the best pies in the world, always had time to listen to us, taught us how to sew and quilt, and let us help her turn the handle of the wringer washing machine, which squeezed the clothes through the rollers to press out the water and push out the clothes paper-thin. But best of all, she had a row of dark and light purple lilac bushes in her backyard. My birthday is in May, and every year she would cut me a giant bouquet of the lilacs. The sweet smell of lilacs is one I will always associate with my childhood – of days spent with my wonderful grandmother, of childhood birthday memories, of the anticipation of spring that the blooming lilac bushes represented..
I would give anything to have one more day with my grandmother, one more day to bury my nose in a giant bouquet of lilacs, and breathe in as deeply as I can. Memories are powerful, and fortunately I have wonderful ones of the lilacs to draw on. And if I try really hard, I can visualize my grandmother, and those special birthday lilacs, bury my face in those imagined bouquets and in my mind smell that sweet fragrance once again.