Monday, June 22, 2015
You Smell Like Family
B-man and I just returned from a family reunion at a beautiful national park. We loved it, which is saying something because I hardly ever love family reunions. Mostly because I'm an introvert, but also because there's too much time spent avoiding the family members we're supposed to love but don't even like. You know it's true.
This time, all the good people showed up, like hand-picking who I would want to see at a family reunion. Not all of my siblings could go, but my brother was there. B-man says my brother and I are like 'bookends' because we both have a quiet demeanor and we share some physical characteristics. Apparently, we walk alike, too. Mom drilled into all of us, 'stand up straight, throw your shoulders back and don't slump like you're waiting to get slapped.' So my brother and I walk like we're going somewhere very important to do things that are very important and we survey our surroundings as if everyone else is slumping around waiting to get slapped.
One of our cousins is living with a terminal illness. His cancer has run amok, out of the reach of chemo or any other treatment. In spite of that, he was able to participate and join all of our activities. Mom loved him and she and her sisters spoiled him as he navigated a rough childhood. He held a special place in her heart, and if she were alive today, it would hurt her see him so thin, struggling every day just to stick around a little bit longer.
Yesterday morning, the family met to have breakfast, close out this time together and say our final goodbyes. I saved the last goodbye for my cousin, knowing I will probably never see him alive again. After expressing our love and filling in for my mother the best I could, he said one final thing, 'you even smell like our family.'
Jovan musk...the smell of family.
Photo from fragrantica.com