Thursday, June 2, 2011


“Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.” Nabokov

The past few weeks have been changing our world upside down but the most change happened on May 21. No, the world didn't end, nor did I think it was going to, sort of, but dad got married. I never would have imagined ever in my life that I would have witnessed that with him (or mom for that matter).  It was a difficult weekend to say the least, but wasn't nearly as hard/awkward as I thought it would have been.  After mom passed, we accepted the thought of dad remarrying as a reality - NO WAY could that man be happy living alone. But his happiness and that reality didn't make things any easier. It's the fact that dad remarried because his wife died. It's that simple to understand. The reason my dad was getting married that day was because my mom was dead.

Since his wedding, they've decided to live in her home while it's on the market, get rid of most of the furniture in his home and begin renovations of sorts, so they can make their new life together in the house I grew up in.  So, my sister (who so conveniently was moving into a new home) ransacked the house on Tuesday and left the great room practically empty, with the exception of a quaint little corner cabinet that housed some of my mothers most precious collectibles - her Santa Clauses.

Mom began collecting Santa Clauses several years back,in the late 90s, and she had them in all shapes, sizes, looks, and prices. Each Thanksgiving/Christmas, she'd get at least one, if not 2 (or 3!) from dad, or my sister, or me. In the later years, she began finding the Jim Shore santas (his step-daughter's husband worked with my mom) and getting them signed by him. From that, I developed my own stash of Santas since J and I have been married and on mom's death bed, she offered me whichever Santas I so desired.

So today, I treked over there with Miriam (only her 3rd visit there) and walked into an quiet and empty house.  As soon as the door creeked open, I smelled my house, the house smell I knew and was so familiar with for 20 years of my life. It was like the flood gates opened and, with Miriam in my arms, I wept.

Knowing I was there to collect the santas and wait on the arrival of my MIL to see about taking another piece of furniture, I composed myself and headed towards the santas, but checked out a picture of mom and dad from a few Christmases back, the first one that she was sick (07) and took it to Miriam and let her stare at it. She was perplexed at first, but then slyly looked up at me and gave me her cheese-ball grin like she knew exactly who the woman was (and then I wept some more).

I finally made my way back to the santas, and racked up with all 6 large santas, and 3 miniature ones, and an angel snow globe that serenaded us while I wept even more.  That corner cabinet and those Santas had "the smell" etched in them and as each one came off the shelf, I whiffed in the aromas of my past as if it was today's reality and missed mom's life lessons more than ever.


stephanie said...

Oh Amanda, what a beautiful view into your heart. Thanks for sharing!

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