December 10, 2018

Chanel No. 5 and Butter Tarts

My mother just went back to Toronto after visiting for nine days. When I dropped her off at the airport, for the first time in 27 years of visits, I didn’t cry when I said goodbye. I gave her a kiss, hugged her close, and waved goodbye. She cried, but I didn’t. I went back to my car and burst into tears.  I wasn’t sure if I cried because she left, or because I didn’t cry with her, but I wept uncontrollably. I simply could not stop crying.

 

My mom on the other hand, actually starting crying the moment I picked her up at LAX. When I asked why she was crying, she said it was because she was sad to leave. She was sad to leave the second she arrived, which is classic. I love her very much and we had a great visit. She spent a lot of time with Charlie, which is important to both Charlie and me. She also cooked for us like it was her job.

 

After she left I could still smell her in my home. Her perfume lingered and I found myself crying as I went room to room to find where the smell was strongest. Today as I drove to work, excited my housekeeper was coming, I started to cry as I realized the lingering smell of my mother would be gone. I will go back to a spotless home, but no smell of my mom, so wish I would’ve pushed the cleaning.

 

I’ll be with my mom in February, when we celebrate her 75thbirthday. I am going to make a note to take some pillowcases with me to Canada so she can make them smell like her, so I can bring the smell home.  It is a mixture of love, Chanel No. 5, and butter tarts. If I could bottle it, I would, and when I get home this evening I am going to desperately try to find something that still smells like her.

 

If I can’t, I will simply make butter tarts, spray Chanel No. 5 all over the place, and hug Charlie while crying, which is what I think allows the smell of love to come out. My mother speaks of waving goodbye to her mom when she left Israel, promising to come back, but my grandmother passing before she could. I remember telling my mom I would be back when I left Canada, but I never did move back.

 

I often wonder where Charlie will make his home when he has a family of his own. I pray I am close by and able to see him more often than I see my mother. Important to note that when I say I hope I live close by, of course I mean I hope I live in his house, taking care of his kids, and get to see him every day. While I am quite certain that is a nightmare for Charlie, I am keeping the faith.