Thursday, February 21, 2013

the scent of the soap...

Very recently, we had a very dear family friend in the hospital and we needed to visit her family during this time.  From the moment it was evident that we needed to go to the hospital, I began to have anxiety for we would be visiting the same hospital that I was in when Matthew passed away.   I have been to this to this hospital several times yet it remains a battle I face.  So many terrible memories and too much pain to bear come along with this hospital for us.
This time didn’t fail to throw the hardest punch yet.
While driving there, my throat started getting really dry as I was trying to avoid a full on freak out attack.  When we were getting into the elevator, my heart began to beat faster, my throat began to close and I started to cough accompanied by hot flashes as well.  I went straight into the restroom to freshen up before walking into the waiting room and when I washed my hands, the scent of the soap sent me right back to July of 2005.
I was standing there in the restroom about to freak out, literally.  I tried to scrub the scent off of my hands and it was too late.  I scrubbed and I scrubbed!  It was too late.  The scent had already done it.  It had already gotten to my brain and activated all of the tragic memories stored in it!  One smell!  That's all it took! 
I could feel all of the pain again of losing Matthew, the flashbacks of the most awful days of my life; they were all there in the restroom with me.
I tried to compose myself so I could go and see the family in the ICU waiting room and as I walked into the room it progressed to another level.  I needed to pull myself together to show encouragement and love to the family members present that would be soon experiencing loss as well. 
I tried to converse with others and it was so difficult with each word that came out of my mouth.  I was reliving the nightmare and so desperately wanting to run away from the very place that hurt so much to be in.
The family was called into the back as their mother was fast approaching the gates  of heaven. I sat there knowing that death was imminent for her and experiencing that on the other side of the double doors in this place seemed to be yet another reminder that life is precious and we just never know if we will see another day.
At that time, of course a baby was born and you know that stupid lullaby was blasted on the hospital speakers.  SCREAM!!! 
I grabbed my handbag and headed for the exit.  I sat out in the hallway looking out of the window as tears rolled down my face.  Life didn’t seem so fair.  At all.
I became so sad and angry and just down right depressed.  This added to the already heavy heart I was carrying. 
I looked to the sky at the falling raindrops and just surrendered my pain to God.  I couldn’t bear the weight of the emotions I was feeling, the flashbacks I was having or the scent of the soap any longer. 
It is overwhelming to me that this scent can catapult me to that awful, awful time.  The scent, the stupid, stupid lullaby and the tears... If I were to ever say I "hate" anything it would be THAT SCENT! 
I cannot stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It makes me sick, sad and depressed!!!!!!!!!!!  And I hate that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I hate what it reminds me of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
As you can probably tell the scent and the lullaby were the perfect combination for a mama meltdown!  And seeing the fresh tears with the news of Granny Ruth's passing pulled my heartstrings even harder. 
The only thing that did make me smile was knowing that Granny Ruth was now with her daughter Betty Jo... and for a moment I was very envious of her!  I immediately thought of their reunion and rejoiced for her!  I will one day have that reunion with Matthew!  And I will go "old school" for my church folks and say WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY THAT WILL BE!  Amen! 
Just as the scent of the soap threw me back to that place, the raindrops coming from above would serve as a beautiful reminder of God’s promise in our lives.  The one, who was allowing the rain to fall, held my hand, my heart and my son and was presently welcoming the newest member of heaven, our beloved Granny Ruth.
Isaiah 63:9 “In all their distress, he too was distressed and the angel of his presence saved them.  In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all of the days of old.”
Love to all,


  1. Your post hits so close to home I can't even take it. To make a long story short our daughter was born to preterm birth in L&D one floor above where I work as a NICU nurse. If you can imagine, the NICU is owned by one hospital (different housekeeping) and L&D is owned by another hospital all in the same building. I was in-patient here for weeks after we lost our daughter...washing my hands, showering; in a daze over the view of the city from my hospital room. When I returned to work and had to attended my first resuscitation as a NICU nurse coming back after losing our daughter I just thought I might die. The simple smell of the paper towels when I washed my hands threw me over the edge. The smell of them, the feel of them-every single thing about them brought me back to the worst days of my life. And do you know what, no the room around me had any idea. Any idea of the simplicities that can truly bring us to our knees. It's nothing anyone can understand unless they have washed with that soap or dried with those towels. Thank you for this post. xo xo