A Father’s Daughter

My grandmother wore Shalimar perfume.

I still have a small vial in my medicine cabinet that I don’t wear, but it was here when we moved in and I have kept it as is.

I have smelled that perfume at random times while living in this house. Not just a random whiff, but a powerful and all-encompassing aroma that invades every part of my head.

Now, I’m not sure what happens to a person once they have died. No one really knows what happens…not even you. There are beliefs and hopes only.

When I have smelled my grandmother’s perfume choice, I hope that it’s because she’s standing with me.

I have also smelled cigarette smoke in this house. Both of my grandparents who lived here were heavy smokers.

The week after my husband died I smelled cigarette smoke. I asked my eldest daughter if she smelled it, but she did not. It was quite prominent in my nose.

I haven’t had any signs of my husband since he left us.

I think that, yes, I have wanted a sign from him.

a sound.

a smell.

a light.

a movement.

Nothing has happened.

Nothing at all.

And I miss him so much.

I miss his sound.

I miss his smell.

I miss his movements.

I miss his light.

Is there a reason for his absence?

Or is this death?

A nothingness that permeates everything around you.

A hole that can’t be seen and that can never be stitched close.

Then I see her.

I see my oldest.

While she may look just like me in her facial features, she is her father to the core.

She walks like he does…heavy and leading with her heels.

She has his body structure…legs for days that hold up a shorter torso.

She can’t sleep well at night…just like her dad.

She prefers to stay up late to watch movies just as he did, while her sister and I go to bed early because we prefer to rise with the sun.

She’s quiet and introspective.

She rarely raises her voice.

She is her father’s daughter.

She is the sign that I have needed.

He isn’t gone from our lives.

He lives on each time she walks into a room…

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