I think smells offer the strongest link back to distant memories.
I was reminded of my grandparents from decades ago this past week while I was walking through the halls of the nursing home my mom is at.
My father’s parents lived in Clayton, CA, most of my life up to the point where they both entered rest homes back in the late ’70s. I don’t remember much about the places they lived in back then, other than the smells.
Not good smells.
I’m not talking chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Or popcorn. Or scented candles, though they sure could have used some.
No, these were the smells of old people. Well, that’s what a very young teenager thinks when he first encounters them. And they stick, to this very day.
So today, my nose was assaulted with the old stench from years back. Only it was now, and it’s related to Mom, so it’s even more real.
My olfactory senses were struck straight smack in the nose and it wasn’t good. Not only the smells of shitty cafeteria food, poop and urine, and old people, but the mystery chemicals used to cover them up.
PLUS the memories of my grandparents and how that all ended.
Not good smells. Not good memories. I hate today.