Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mom's Lotion

Me, JD and Dad on the deck after dark
Dad came for a visit last weekend for the first time since Mom died.  Everyone was over Friday evening for Soup Night.  Out on the deck we talk, reminisce, laugh and drink wine.

Dad still sees Mom everywhere that they have been together.  She was in our home not that long ago. 

He spends the night Friday.  B-man and I wake up early Saturday because we're both morning geeks.  When JD was little, he would yell, from his bedroom across the hall, 'Guys, be quiet, I'm trying to sleep!'  This is understandable because B-man and I were awake, talking and laughing well before the alarm went off.  

Luckily, Dad is also a morning person, and I hear him rambling around downstairs early, long before he comes up for coffee.

Then, I hear the shower running.

Soon, he emerges, squeaky clean and cute as anything in khaki pants and a deep blue collared shirt.  When he reaches the top of the stairs, we greet each other and hug.  He smells good, but not like cologne, just fresh.

We're sitting on the deck - over coffee - in the cool mountain air when Dad says, 'Did you notice Mom's lotion?  I put it on this morning after I showered.'

'I just noticed you smell good,' I say.

'Well, it was on her make-up table, so I brought it with me,' Dad says.  'I missed her so much last night and this morning, I can hardly stand it.'  

The depth of Dad's loss and loneliness, after 53 years of marriage, is more than I can comprehend.

'Tell me about her lotion, Dad, what kind is it?'  He insists on finding the bottle and reading the label.  'It's Optimism Aromatherapy by Bath and Body Works.'

'The scent is Bright Blossoms,' he says.

I am touched by his attempt to channel Mom through wearing a scent he must have smelled on her many times.  He doesn't care if it smells like flower blossoms, it reminds him of her.

Watching my father endure great pain and slowly emerge again has emphasized what I've always loved about him; his kindness, his open mind and his resilience.  Getting to know him again now, as we all rebuild and regroup, is one of the great gifts of my life.

Thank you, Dad, for your sweet remembrance of 
our mother.

Picture taken by B-man last Friday


  1. Thanks for writing such a sweet post about Dad. I sent that lotion to Mom after her surgery, mainly because of the the name, "Optimism" and the wonderfully clean, citrus smell! Unfortunately, I don't think they make it any more. If they did, I would buy bottles of it to remind me of her...

  2. Thank you for sharing such a lovely story. What a wonderful way to connect to your mother.

  3. This is a really beautiful story. It's amazing the power of a familiar scent...

  4. That was touching indeed. Shame they don't make that lotion anymore - could you snap up any remaining stocks anywhere, as it would be a comfort for your dad?



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