Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Gift Given on a Sunday Afternoon

On this Sunday afternoon, my husband came to the back door, asking me for his work gloves. He had been working outside with the chainsaw, cutting down our busted trees from the ice storm (one of which just fell on our fence and crushed it - yea for us). When I met him at the door, a smell from my past hit me so hard that I was startled to tears. My husband smelled just like my grandaddy. My grandaddy, my dad's father, worked outside almost every day after he retired from dentistry. He was always doing something, like planting flowers or trees or bushes. Or he worked in his garage, building things like dulcimers or shelves or refinishing old furniture. After he retired, he always smelled like a mixture of exhaust, sweat, stain, dirt, and just the all-around outdoors. I loved that smell. It was the smell of honest, hard work. It was the smell of comfort and progress. It was the smell of beautiful things to come. I haven't thought about that smell in a long time. My grandaddy passed away in 2005 and the two years before his death, he and my grandmother lived in assisted living facilities where he no longer had a yard or a garage. I had forgotten about that smell until today, when the wind blew through the back door, past my husband and into me. I immediately began to cry because I miss my grandaddy so much still and it took me back to such simple times! My husband asked if I was okay. I laughed and said, "I am fine! Don't worry!" And that's the truth. I was just given a gift. I saw for the first time the beauty of how history can repeat itself in a good way, how we are all so similar, and our lives can mirror those from the past. On this Sunday afternoon, I was inside baking banana bread, just like my grandmother used to do, while my husband worked outside with his hard-working hands, just like my grandaddy, and our only child, just like my dad was an only child, slept softly in his crib. Thankfully, we are extensions of each other, following tradition while learning our own lessons.

Thank you Grandma and Grandaddy for such wonderful memories.


  1. That made me cry. What a gift you got today. Sweet memories escape us too often. I love you.

  2. That was an amazing story and an even better memory. I remember that smell. We were so lucky to have such an amazing childhood filled with love. I thank God for Grandma and Gradaddy everyday.


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