I went on a personal mission today. I needed to find my old wedding scrap book for bridal shower ideas for my soon to be sister in law's party. All of our things are stored in a small room in my parents basement. I rarely go in there, but knew exactly where I would find what I needed. After I'd collected my folder I saw the big white trash bags with blue painters tape. They said "Laundry to be Done". I remembered back to when I packed up our house. I threw the dirty clothes that were on the laundry room floor into these bags, intending to wash them as soon as I transferred them. Since I was already doing laundry today I hauled the five bags into the next room to get to work. I pulled up a little stool and sat on it, turning each bag upside down one at a time. TJ's underwear, his socks, some towels and his t-shirts all tumbled out in front of me. Even though it was dirty laundry, I held up his shirts to see if I could catch his scent. Each one I lifted to my face smelled like basement. I tried to will my nose into smelling what I wanted it to smell, so sometimes I would think I caught a whiff, but when I settled back into the shirt it was gone. I abandoned the sniffing and began sorting lights and darks. I found myself holding on to a light grey shirt and debating which pile to put it in. On a last ditch effort, I raised it to my face and was completely blown away. Tears sprang to my eyes and I said aloud "Oh, there you are! There you are..." I stood leaning against the dryer clutching his shirt as tightly as I could. I buried my face into it and inhaled over and over again. Afraid to ruin the scent, I made sure to lift my face away from the shirt when I exhaled as not to get my own scent on it. Right around the collar is the best place to catch him.
I thought I would never get to smell him again. Tears are pouring from my eyes with emotion over this delicious find. I walked around the house with it draped over my shoulder so all I had to do was turn my head and smell him. It's exactly how I remember it. The smell. It's beyond perfect. A true miracle to have found this simple, unassuming grey shirt that holds so much importance to me. How lucky I am to have been stumped by it's color. To have impulsively raised it to my face. It could have been like the others, already washed and folded in my basket. What a precious gift, to be able to sense him again in some way.
If I close my eyes and only focus on the scent I can almost remember what it felt like to be in his arms. I miss him so much.