Early last week, Nick and I took a meal to a family in our church. The mom in the family is a friend and Nick's Sunday school teacher. Her family is going through so much hard stuff right now. They just moved my friend's father, who suffers from Alzheimers, from another state into a care facility nearby. This move comes because my friend's mother recently received a terminal cancer diagnosis and will soon move in with my friend so she can care for her as she dies.
My friend is about to become the filling in a generational sandwich, caring for her two small children on one side and a dying mother and a father who doesn't recognize her on the other.
I'd never been to her house before I delivered the meal. It's a lovely home, warm and welcoming. Her husband apologized for the sock on the kitchen island, and I replied I had two on my kitchen island that were covered in dog spit.
I wasn't just being nice. That was the truth. He looked relieved and said, "Oh, you do understand."
Nick and I delivered the meal, offered more meals as needed in the future, and left. As we drove away, Nick said, "Her house smelled like Grandma Dianne's old house. I loved the way Grandma Dianne's house smelled. It smelled good."
I think what Nick smelled in my mom's house and in his Sunday school teacher's house was a combination of aged wood and love in action.
Lots and lots of love.
What smells do you associate with love? An old home in which you felt blessed and carefree? Apple pie? Chocolate cake? A rib roast roasting on Christmas day? Fresh desert air and sage? A pine forest? A public garden? Tilled earth? Jergens lotion? A library full of dusty old books? The halls of an elementary school? Puppy breath and frito paws? Baby powder? Fresh-picked tomatoes? Tobacco smoke? A wood fire?
What smells take you someplace safe and warm and wonderful?