Memories are sweet.  They are this magical place we can go to in our hearts and minds.  Only falling short of the original in actual proximity.  Memories are not though any less poignant or powerful than the original.  Sometimes I think memories are more powerful than the real thing - more detailed.  It causes us, much like a blind or deaf person, to totally tune into what we felt, heard, saw, thought or experienced without the event or person or thing before us.  Memories triggered by reminders can bring sweet relief to our troubled hearts.  They can though, at times, bring back grief or sorrow or longing.  Last summer I was riding my bike through a park.  Alone on the ride just enjoying nature and thinking.  As I rounded a corner I was slammed with an overwhelming smell of honeysuckle.  So powerful was the memory that I was instantly transported to my great grandmother's front step were I used to smell that flower.  In that smell she resided.  A flood of thoughts and feelings rushed through me.  I felt sweet remembrances of who she was, how I felt when I was a kid in her presence, the beautiful woman she was, the grace she wore.  I didn't want that moment to end.  Turning my bike around I rode back through the triggering honeysuckle stopping to linger a bit.  Out the other morning running in the fall drizzly cold I smelled a fireplace burning wood.  Without conscious thought I was at my grandparents house on the lake at Christmas time.  There was laughter, homemade candy, grandma bustling around waiting on everyone.  I saw gramps carrying in wood to stoke up the fire.  For a moment I was there.  I cannot walk into a hospital without feeling my chest tighten, without feeling trapped-stuck in the desert.  I spent a lot of time in the hospital.  So did my first husband.  Hospitals instantly take me to a very dark part of my life.  I actually feel like a miner when I am visiting someone - very constrained.  A few years back someone told me of a job opening at my local hospital and suggested I go apply.  I could not do it.  The thought of working in a hospital felt like a death sentence for me.  It is a memory I don't want to be reminded of.  The smell of paint takes me to my childhood.  Sick as a child one night, my mom let me stay up and lay on the couch watching "Creature Feature" while she painted the living room.  Now as a grown up, the smell of paint reminds of a feeling of safety and being taken care.  That one is a bit weird!!   Cleaning products instantly wash over my emotions reminding me of my mom - her ritual of cleaning everything top to bottom in the house on Saturdays (I still don't want to clean though!).  I can't drive by a Burger King to this day without instantly feeling love for my daughter.  She spent the better part of her toddlerhood wearing a Burger King crown while she ate at the kitchen table.  It brings a smile to my insides every time I see a Burger King.  Original music written by out of the ordinary musicians and poetry reminds me of a dear friend of mine.  Whenever I read a poem by Emily Dickinson I think of that person and my heart grows a bit larger for that moment.  I smelled rubber cement recently having not smelled it since I was about 7.  I laughed as I asked my boss if he cared if I smelled the jar of rubber cement on his desk:)  Thankfully he went to school with me growing up and together we recounted what that smell reminded us of.  For a moment we went back to kindergarten, Mrs. Hollaway and paper chains.   Winter now reminds me of my husband Doug.  The cold, the white snow contrast the warm treasure I found in him on December 28th.  In starkness - in the midst of the harsh, hurtful things that have happened in my life, God brought love, warmth, and joy to me.  Because of that, winter triggers something new in me. Which reminds sister Diane says all things "cherry flavored" remind her of the liquid medicine our small town doctor used to prescribe to anyone under the age of 12 or to me till I was 20 as I couldn't swallow pills.

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