I purchased a new brand of moisturizer recently. It has a soft, almost powdery, fragrance that reminds me so much of my mom. I don’t know if Mom used this product–I doubt it because she’s been gone for twenty-six years and it probably didn’t exist back then, but she must have used something similar. The sense of smell is powerful and every morning when I smooth it on my face I’m reminded of Mom. I like that.
The other day I was listening to a CBC radio broadcast on the way home from work. It was a fascinating, almost ordinary, memoir-type story. I was engrossed by the narrator’s tales of his family life when he was a child and I was struck by a single, simple phrase he spoke just before I turned onto our street.
“…a man in a plaid car coat and a fedora.”
Immediately a picture of my dad came before my mind’s eye. Those few words took me back to my childhood and I remembered the way Dad looked in the wintertime when he wore a tweed car coat, a fedora on his head, and rubber boots on his feet. In that moment I missed my dad who died when I was in my early twenties. That’s the power of words.
Two memories: one a result of a smell, the other a result of a descriptive phrase, both reminding me of my parents who have been gone almost thirty years. I’ll be fifty-three in a few weeks and I can’t help but wonder if one ever stops missing their parents. I wonder if my parents missed their parents.
Something to ponder.