I can walk about the house and smell her in various places, the bathroom where she gets ready in the morning, or at my desk when she has her purse there next to my work bag, on the pillows after she has left our bed, or on my sweatshirts that she has stolen and made her own. Our children used to take her perfume bottles from the trash to hide them in their treasure boxes, and take them out again…in their teens and twenties…to smell their mom when they were feeling lonely or simply needful of her nearness. Her dying father crept downstairs to where she had slept in the spare room after she left for home and curled-up in her bed, crying, holding her pillow…so he could smell her and be near her again. It is a scent that has become the person who wears it, and it has permeated our lives unknowingly, and boldly…it is something we need, something that we miss without being able to name when it is gone, and something that refreshes and restores our souls when it returns…and it is Mom and daughter and wife and Lori…and the taste that lingers on my lips when I kiss her neck and…it is a fullness of life, a comfort, an essence…of her.
The stars rained tears of gold that burned my cheeks in their falling. I was caught unawares and didn’t know what was happening. The song was playing with some mystical guitar notes that crept into my heart and caused the feelings to come, unbidden and not wanted, yet there and not able to be stopped. They sang of a sorrow that was nameless until the notes captured their substance and melted my aching heart. I longed for release and found it in her notes. That minstrel singing and the echoing thoughts in dirge-like chords wrenched my soul.