I kept thinking, “It smells like my mom” tonight as I walked around the house.

That happens to me a lot, actually. I’ll wake up at 3:00 a.m. and think I smell burnt toast, something she used to do all of the time when she lived with us. 

Last night, I rolled over (on the luxurious twin mattress lodged outside J’s room in the upstairs hallway–darn kid) and smelled butterscotch candies, the yellow kind she kept in her purse. 

It doesn’t startle me anymore. I’ll even think I hear her in the kitchen–messing with the toaster, clinking a butter knife–and I stay awake for a moment to figure out if I’m dreaming or if it’s real and then I decide I’m too tired to care and go back to sleep.

This evening, I kept catching her perfume while I got kids ready for bed and cleaned, which was new; that only happens when I’m intentionally digging through her purse or clothes, places I would expect it. 

Then I remembered I had her watch on.

I’d asked Brad if he had an extra before I left to go run (because somehow in a house with two lifelong runners we have more dead than functional watches laying around) and he said, “Yeah, your mom’s is in my basket. I found it in one of her bags, so I’ve been using it for practice.”

I initially questioned whether it was hers, and then I brought it close to my face and knew for certain it smelled better than most things Brad or I have spent any amount of time running in.

I ran in it, I kind of forgot about it, and then it smacked me in the face again when I pulled my wrist close while picking up Roosvelt.

I kind of forgot about it. And then I remembered.

Which is a pretty accurate way to describe the last (almost) two years….

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