For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that we use it so little. – Rachel Carson
I have found myself lately needing the comfort of home. I've been desperate for the familiar and missing the time when I could curl up in my Papa's lap and know someone with bigger and stronger hands was in charge.
One night this week I ran in to CVS to pick up a few toiletry items and while I was quickly scanning the aisles for what I needed, I remembered I needed soap. So, I jogged to the soap aisle (I had a babysitter at home with my kids and time is money people!), and quickly began picking up packages of soap to smell (yes, the best smelling one is the one I always snag). Dial, Dove, Caress...nope, nope, nope. But then a package stopped me in my tracks. I smelled again. And again and again. Tears filled my eyes and I immediately turned to make my purchase. Ivory Soap took me down memory lane.
Delight. Comfort. Safety. Love...lots and lots of love. Those are a few of the emotions I felt each time my moms car pulled in to my grandparents Louisiana driveway. And like a black and white video reel, my memory pulls up short visions...my Maumi whispering softly to me in french, her delicate manicured fingers reaching out to pat my arm as she lay weakly in her hospital bed. My Mimi's boistorous and gravelly laughter floating through her house always origonating from the kitchen. The wonder and awe I felt each time I tip-toed through my Mimi's elegant sitting room...the ornate french furniture that I would run my fingers over. Easter Eggs hunts in the front yard, giggling with cousins who I believed truly hung the moon, and wishing we would never leave. I remember my Uncle Craig and our cousins bringing a barrel of crawfish and the excitement in knowing the most fun and lively party was about to start. Bright red nail polish, the sweet endearment "Sha" being spoken each time my name was called, and endless smiles between me and my Papa.
But one of my most special memories was crawling in to my Mimi and Papa's beautiful old bath tub and being washed with Ivory Soap. There was something magical and safe about that soap...and when I smell it, all is right in the world.
I miss my Mimi so much it hurts at times...she was one of my best friends. And since her passing, our family has scattered a bit. She was like the glue that held everyone together. I miss her laughter, I miss her joy and I miss her cajun cookin'! ;-) I miss her bright red lip stick and watching her limp around the kitchen. I miss seeing her Danielle Steel books lying around the living room and hearing her call out "Jaaay!" (my Papa's name) when she needed something. She will always be one of my greatest memories in this life and I'm incredibly proud of the fact that Rauly Marie will forever carry her name with her.
I hope one day my life will impact my grandchildren just as much as my Mimi did me. And I hope Ivory soap never goes out of stock. :-)