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Coco Chanel No. 5 (Welcome)

July 1, 2011

Today is Friday.  And on Fridays we write.  We write passionately and uninhibitedly and without editing for 5 minutes.  We don’t go back.  We only go forwards.  Lisa-Jo, The Gypsy Mama, has prompted us with the idea of: welcome.  So 5 minutes of writing without the “delete” button in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Go.

I smell her before I see her.  A few passengers walk off the plane and then her smell hits me.  Coco Chanel No. 5.  I’ve known that smell for as long as I’ve known her.  It’s the smell of distinction of confidence and beauty.  It’s the smell of hospitality and grace and fine southern expectations.  It’s the smell that forced me into a few years of cotillion and the smell that every so often forces a “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” out of me.  It’s an elegant, subtle smell.  But sometimes it’s strong, just like her.  It is the smell I have come to associate with Grandma ever since those days when you could meet your relatives at the gate of their airplane.  Ever since I was little and could sense when she was coming.

I used to do the welcoming when I was little.  I used to wait outside her gate for the smell of Coco Chanel No. 5 and greet her and show her to the guest room at our house.  As I have gotten older, it is my Grandma who has done the welcoming part.  It is her home I have taken comfort in on so many weekends away at college.  It is her table I have sat down at and nearly collapsed from exhaustion.  It is her phone call and her words that have made me feel at peace, at home, loved, welcomed, understood.

How many people other than our parents get to know our entire life story?  How many people get to speak truth and honesty into our souls?  How many of us are lucky enough to have found not only that stable force of “Grandparent,” but also of friend?  My Grandmother is my friend now.  We have welcomed each other into that role.

I will see her this weekend.  But no doubt I will smell her perfume first.  I will smell it before I walk through her door and before she hugs me and kisses me and starts crying that she is so happy to see all of us.  I will melt away in her arms, overcome with welcome and overcome with comfort.  When we let go from this first embrace, her Coco Chanel No. 5 will stick onto me, latch onto me.  And I’ll carry her around with me.

Stop.

Want to join in on our fun?  We’d love to write with you!  The Gypsy Mama’s 5 Minute Friday – come on over!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2011 12:03 pm

    isnt that something how the smell takes right to those moments.
    enjoyed reading this.
    tee

  2. July 1, 2011 12:21 pm

    Oh Lauren, another post that weaves words together beautifully. You tell stories the way I hope I can learn to. Thank you. I’m so very glad you joined 5 minute Fridays, because your words are always inspiring. I love it.

  3. July 1, 2011 2:24 pm

    This is just WONDERFUL. As a grandmother myself, I can only hope and pray that my kiddoes can one day write that I welcomed them, all of them, all of who they are. Just lovely. Thanks so much. (Maybe I’ll have to rethink the perfume bit – I don’t wear any!)

    • July 1, 2011 6:09 pm

      Thanks for stopping by my blog and for leaving such a wonderful comment, complete with poem. I’m looking that poet up – love what you left. Love it. I finally responded to Lisa-Jo’s prompt, a little later than usual, but it’s up there.

  4. July 1, 2011 4:39 pm

    Your 5 minute fridays never disappoint. I love the picture you paint of smelling her before she arrives and sensing her arrival. Chanel No.5 is exactly as you describe – beautiful, confident, and graceful. My mother wore it for years. You write beautifully….

  5. July 1, 2011 5:25 pm

    this is beautiful Lauren–I love the part of friend in a grandparent/ma…how they can love us so especially…I don’t know if I’ve really ever had that, maybe with my grandma who is 98 today…that tender love and knowing, absolutely beautiful…a welcome so full:)

  6. July 2, 2011 3:56 am

    What a gorgeous post! You definitely have a gift with words. And you are so fortunate to have such a relationship with your Grandmother. Many people don’t have that opportunity.

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