The senses that tether to memory.

Sick days stink. A weekend of all-nighter clean-ups, dress and linen changes, and unrestricted-whatever-you-need-to-feel-comfortable while racing to and from the porcelain. Poor little-big guy with endless upsets, frustrations, and exhaustion. His please and thank yous tethered in pain.
I could smell it coming, him getting sick. I can smell when Steve is getting sick. Or any loved ones. I could smell my friend’s dad when he had cancer. I can’t quite place it but I smell it coming. I can smell when other people are sick or have an illness, like a powder coat of paint, there’s an indescribable stench. Like insides. Hospitals smell like this to me. My grandmother’s care facility smelled this way to me. Only her facility was an elixir of heated metal vats filled with sheets and tubed food. Like death. The kind of morbidity mixed with relief. Maybe it was the morphine drips. I don’t know. There’s a smell. And it makes me think of my grandmother years ago and her final grip begging me not to leave her side. She couldn’t remember me. Not in that room anyway. It’s a memory I want to forget; her reaching out like that of a child but I do, I remember the ache. I remember her this way by the smell of the present, near death, for her. It is strange, the memories tied to our senses.
Soon, our house will be on the mend. There will be another smell. Our Christmas tree is with great attempt to waft fresh fir. This week, like every holiday, we will remember our loved ones and beyond with great cheer, away from the death grips, and share fond memories of lives once well-lived. #lovealltheway