When Meica died, Sherry, came to see me. She brought pie - odd I remember that, but I do. Little did we know at that time that Sherry's daughter, Ashley, would leave us 7 weeks later.
After that, Sherry and I grew a bond that forever changed our relationship. We had both lost our daughters. We didn't have to imagine what the other was going through; unfortunately, we knew.
Late one afternoon, Sherry brought me a gift. The gift spawned a legacy for both of us.
Some months later, I 'returned' her gift along with this note ...
Please accept these gifts from me. One is a book which talks of different forms of communication with loved ones who have died. I found this one to be my favourite as it comforted me to know that others had seen their children, so that our girls must be ok too. I hope it gives you comfort also.
The second gift has a bit of a story to it.
Logan gave me an assortment of 4 shower gels a couple of Christmases ago. They were his first “big” gift to me. They are a precious gift, as I use them all the time, and the smell that fills my shower reminds me of him, and how he selected them especially for me.
Each time I shower, I find I am in the mood for a different one —lime, olive, rose, and grape—what do I feel like? I give it deliberate thought as to which ‘feels right’ for that day.
Some few months after Ashley died, you came to my house. I still remember you standing on my doorstep—you had come for something briefly, but before you left, you smiled, and pressed a little bottle in my hand. You said it was Ashley’s and you wanted me to have it. It was a partially used bottle of vanilla shower gel.
And so, that bottle joined the other 4 on the shelves in my shower. Each day, as I would shower, again I would survey the bottles, and decide which one was right for the day. I was never sure what prompted me to use one over the other, but one just seemed right. Some days, it just felt right to use the vanilla one—Ashley’s gel. When I used it, I would think of, and talk to, Ashley. My mind would drift on to think of our girls—all awash in the smell of vanilla. Sometimes painful, sometimes with a smile—but always in a wash of vanilla which seemed to help me feel closer to, in particular, Ashley. It was ‘her’ gel I was blessed to be sharing.
And so, I am giving you this bottle of vanilla gel, along with this story of how your simple gesture of giving me Ashley’s shower gel has become part of my daily life, and given me some carefully-chosen vanilla moments with Ashley.
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