Today, I went to Mom's home. This past week, she and my sister took her elderly cat to the veterinarian. Bessie had lost fur along her spine, was eating more sporadically, and sleeping longer. At the vet's office, they discovered Bessie had lost four pounds and would require two shots of insulin each day.
She invited me to come over and help her clean, get cat fur and dust out of her bedroom.
We lost Dad last year after he'd been dealing with his illness for the past three years. And now she's lost Bessie.
We took down curtains to wash. We took down blinds to wipe off. Mom had already stripped the bed and had her quilt ready for the laundromat after Bessie had spit up on it. Her wash machine was too small for it. And we carried out the boxes from under the bed and the dresser that sat next to the bed.
Their bedroom is small and the head of the bed is up on blocks but we stood the mattress and the box spring against the wall. Then we could move the bedframe. I vacuumed while Mom dusted and wiped items off out in the kitchen and living room.
And as I detached the hose so that I could vacuum the edge of the carpet along the wall at the head of the bed, all of a sudden I could smell Dad's cologne.
It was a strong and it made me happy to smell it again.
When we took a break, I mentioned it to Mom. She has not smelled his cologne in their bedroom. We teased one another, saying that he was being nosy and checking out what we were doing.
Later, after we had put the bed back together, I worked on the closet, pulling everything out so I could give it a good vacuum. And then again, as I worked with the vacuum hose to clean the carpet right next to the wall, I could smell Dad's cologne.
As I drove home today, I thought about it. The smell of dust should have been stronger than Dad's scent.
But last week, I had thought, wouldn't it be lovely if we could visit with Dad for a day. Just to visit. Just to let him know how much we love him, how much we miss him, and it's good to see him again.