Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What was her name?

We were out for a walk tonight, My Beloved and I, when we passed by a house from which the most delicious smells were emanating. Dinner. Dinner done right, as far as I'm concerned. Smells that have people passing by on the sidewalk trying to figure out a way to wrangle an invite means clearly you're doing something right as far as meal prep goes.

My Beloved thought it smelled like some sort of a casserole - a conglomeration of delicious scents indistinguishable from one another lead to his conclusion. And that's exactly what it smelled like to me too.

And so, naturally, my mind drifted back to the 1970s. The time of innocence, safety and casseroles.

You know that scent memory thing that happens when you smell something that takes you back? It's more than just a "hey, I remember that smell" experience. Your body floods with images, feelings, memories and emotions all triggered by that one brief hit of familiar scent.

So I'm walking through the casserole scented air and feeling my childhood.

Feeling it.

I stayed outside skating in the backyard for so long that night would fall and my fingers and toes would be numb. I'd come in through the back door and find myself bathed in the warmth of the kitchen's glow while I sat on the stairs to unlace my skates. I'd smell dinner on the stove. I'd watch my Mom busy herself with the last rushed tasks before serving while I took off my coat and mittens. I was warm. Safe. Spent. Happy.


It all rushed through me in an instant. And while I tried to hang onto its sweetness, a sadness crept into my heart.

I don't have a child who will remember coming into the warmth of my kitchen when it's cold outside.

This thought - this reality - makes me unbearably sad. For me, for Thomas, for all the babies who almost were.

I have it to give, and no one to give it to. The simple, tiny pleasures I'm not sure some people are even aware of - they are lost to me. My kitchen still hums with activity, but there's no one to remember any of it. There is no one for whom my cookies hot from the oven will one day be a comforting memory they cling to for a moment's respite from the cruel world.

And...if there is never a child, one day I'll be forgotten too.

8 comments:

Bronwyn said...

Even though intellectually I'm sure you're as aware as I that we touch so many more live than those of our children, I understand the sadness that you're feeling at not being able to share your life with your children. To help provide the atmosphere for childhood memories... I'm at our holiday rental cottage right now and I had a similar thought today, how this would be such a great place for kids to have memories of, but there are no kids here to take part. (((Big hug)))

Catherine said...

You will never be forgotten. The memories may not be the kind you long for, but you mean so much to so many...I wish I could explain what you mean to me...what a lifeline your kindness was when I needed it most. No...you will never be forgotten my friend.

niobe said...

What a poignant, heartbreaking post.

Teresa said...

Someone who writes with such bravery and honesty, and can transport her readers through time to share memories they too once had, cannot ever be forgotten. Trust that you'll always be remembered.

Kristen said...

Ditto Teresa. You will never be forgotten. You have touched the lives of so many with your honesty and willingness to share what is in your heart.

My heart breaks for you.

Rosepetal said...

We will all be forgotten someday. But I'm not forgetting you anytime soon.

B said...

And if even if you do have a living child ..... one day you will be forgotten.... and one day they too will be forgotten

Which makes the present all the more precious.

The passing of a time induces panic in me. I hate to even see a shop change owners..... the irreversibility of it all happens so quickly. Before I can even get my head around it its gone. All of it. Is gone. One day.

But in the present..... lots of people love to eat your cookies. You will never know what comfort you give and to whom, just as your mum would not think nostalgically about the casseroles she cooked while you were skating.

It'd would be great to have one more person licking the bowl. Sigh.

sweetsalty kate said...

msfitzita, could you please shoot me an email? I'd love to get in touch with a proposition from all of us at Glow in the Woods, and am unable to stalk you properly since your email doesn't seem listed here. :)

Oh, and also.. what a lovely post.
xo

(sweetsalty kate at gmail)