Several years ago, I was a foster parent to a houseful. The children that came to my home usually had no religious background. I created opportunities to plant seeds of goodness within their hearts while they were part of my family. One experience stands out in my memory.
Two of the children shared a paper route, which included early Sunday morning deliveries. In order to make the Sabbath special from the rest of the week, I made it a point to have bacon cooking by the time the children returned home from their route. When they entered, I intended that the first thing their senses would acknowledge was the scent of cooked bacon. Don’t you just love that smell?
It was my hope that forever after, wherever they were in life, that when they smelled bacon, some little part of them would remember the warmth of a Sabbath morning.
When I was a little girl, my grandfather smoked a cigar. All the time. Every second of every day. Although that cigar literally killed him, to this day, whenever my mother or I smell a cigar, we stop in our tracks and look around. For most people, the scent of a cigar is extremely negative. To us, it is a very nostalgic smell, reminding us of a special person and special times from our past.
My grandmother, who coincidentally happened to be married to the aforementioned grandfather, was a connoisseur of Estee Lauder fragrances. After my grandfather passed, Estee Lauder eventually replaced the cigar smell. Years later, I found in my closet a pair of mittens that my grandmother had hand-knit. I put them to my face and inhaled deeply – sure enough, I smelled my grandmother, although she had passed away years before.
I confess I am not a good tradition maker with my own children, and I’m almost out of time with them. But I hope to be a better grandmother. What scent do I want to use to remind my grandchildren of me? And how can I accomplish that?