"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Deep Spice

C has never been good with presents, special occasions, and what-not. It is pretty much a running joke between the two of us as to just how bad he actually is with these things. And it isn't that he doesn't care - he does - he is just not very good at surprises.

This past Christmas I was so very happy with seeing the joy on Logan's face when he opened the Night Before Christmas book that held C's voice that I didn't go through the rest of the box until much, much later.

I couldn't believe he had remembered. I couldn't believe he had stored one comment I had made on the phone months before and let it spark something. 

"I can't smell you anymore," I had told him on a harder day. There was one shirt in particular that I kept just because it smelled like him. He wore it after taking a shower a day or two before he left. It smelled just like his soap, his skin, the scent that followed the steam when he would open the door. My younger sister (who believes my closet to be her own - as sisters always do) had taken this shirt to sleep in while she was home from college. 

She washed it.

His smell was gone. I know I looked like a crazed person when I discovered her mistake. But I couldn't smell him anymore and the sheer thought of that made me panic. I don't think we know how much we will miss that - the everyday, always around scent - until we can't have it.

Inside the hand and foot-print covered box was a heavy-duty, blue Ziploc bag, sealed and then taped closed. No air was getting in this thing, no air was getting out - he thought it through well. I didn't open it when I noticed the crest on the chest that I had become so familiar with. It was the sweatshirt that he wore everyday - for years. I had grown to hate the little holes in the cuffs and the wearing away of the black cotton. I cannot tell you how many times I had tried to hide it from him. I had no idea why he loved that rag so much but I knew now why I suddenly did. 

I hugged the thick, blue plastic to my chest and cried. 

"It's yours now" was written on the scrap paper attached to it. The kindest gift.

I haven't opened this package. I know how horrible that is - probably why I haven't written about it until now. But I cannot open it. I know - or at least I hope - that whenever I choose to open that tightly sealed and re-sealed bag that it will all come back. The smell after a hot, steamy shower - that deep spice scent. And I can't risk losing it. The very idea of never smelling that again ...

It stops my heart.

It crushes my chest.

I forget how to breathe.

I cannot lose it. But I can't smell him anymore.

And I so want to know that smell.


  1. OH my MEGAN, I have to say so few words compared to your other posts but yet SO POWERFUL, I was choking with tears when reading this post, because I TOO have that FEAR. (OF COURSE OF MY HUSBAND, had to put that in there)

  2. Of course of your husband!! Haha.

    Thank you, Becca. You made me laugh.

  3. I used to spray Mark's cologne on my pillows but it was never the same. I would douse his PT shirt in cologne but it just didn't have the same effect. It was my favorite thing about him being home, smelling him

  4. I, too, open my husband's shirt drawers just to smell him--not the same as smelling him, fresh from a shower. I try not to do it too often though, because, like you said, the more you do it, the less smell remains.

    I miss his smell too.

  5. You made me cry again!

    My girls each claim a "daddy pillow" or "daddy's blanket" when he is gone. I know they need them, but sometimes, I just want to snag them back.

  6. Uh, so true! He's been gone five weeks this Sunday, and I still have changed the sheets. I'm terrible. And I do--open his cologne or the deoderant he left behind and whiff it. It's not the same. It's the soap, deoderant, cologne, and...him. I was telling my dearheart tonight how much I miss wrapping my arms around him and burying my nose in his neck. We will prevail ladies! :)

  7. What a great post! So full of real emotion. I had a shirt through both deployments--it was my security blanket. It's now folded (unwashed) in my dresser. Isn't it amazing how they DO hear us sometimes and come up with the best gifts?! :)

    I am so glad to have "met" you! Keep your head up!

  8. I haven't had that day *yet* but I can tell it's coming...

    What a truly thoughtful gift!!!

  9. Girl... I would open it just for a little sniff and then seal it back! I keep one every deployment too :)!


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