I come into a room and the scent sends me back in time, tumbling into childhood and and for a fleeting moment I am there and everything is safe.
Scent does that to you - it is evocative.
I pretend that it is my grandparents visiting me, reassuring me in my own home a place they never visited, a place they never saw let alone knew existed.
I shouldn't be surprised that I can smell them or at least the scent that reminds me so strongly of their house for I have inherited much of their furniture and bits and pieces. A trigger when I am scared taking me back to a time when I was unconditionally loved and knew it if only on a sub-conscious level.
But the thing that gets me most is not a scent but a touch, a touch of fingers pushing my hair back behind me ear.
My youngest son does it and I am immediately transported back to the bitter sweet time when I remember her last doing that to me....and I see her watching me as she lies in her bed. Looking at me as if for the first time in her life and I see the wonderment on her face. She looks at me as if I am a rare gift, something beautiful and precious. Her hand is cool. I do not look at her as such, I watch the television at the end of her bed, embarrassed at her scrutiny.
We do not talk.
Her hand drops to the bed and I pick it up and hold it and don’t let go. And as the night progresses into morning I rearrange the covers, she grows hot and cold and tosses them off one moment and demands in a child’s voice to have them back the next.
I calm her when she gets agitated and hold her hand again. She says she needs to do: " Tuppence" then says plaintively that she is thirsty.
Something I don't-know-what in the tone of her voice makes me anxious and I swiftly pad to where my parents lie sleeping - all awaiting the inevitable yet hoping that it will never happen.
I wake my mother and she is given a drink. She takes first one sip like a child having to be supported then another and lets out a sigh and I know immediately that I have to run.
I have to get Daddy. I have to get her son.
I’ve had my precious moments with her and it is his turn now. I fear I maybe too late, I fear I haven't been quick enough.
He enters her room and watching from the doorway I see his step falter and his shoulders sag and I realise I am looking at a motherless boy.
So every time someone does that to me I remember that day and that night and the long wait, which I greedily kept to myself, but most of all I remember the love that linked us all.