Yesterday as I drove up our hill in the early evening, I smelled a very “city” smell: a mix of refuse, scent, flowers, and animal droppings. As I reached the crest of the hill and started down, I could see the glow of sunset in one corner of the sky, and things had the saturated coloring of early twilight.
This evening I knelt in a tiny adoration chapel. Through the window I could hear a train whistle in the distance; then an ambulance, over the low sound of car motors. I looked at Jesus, and thought about the sound of the train whistle, which brings back my childhood. I’m still here, and so has Jesus ever been.
We had said a rosary earlier, and now had a few moments of silent adoration. We sang the Salve Regina. I sat at Mary’s feet and put my head on her knees. I said, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,” and I knew she would understand.
I watched as the sister lit the incense for Benediction. I saw the tiny plume of smoke, and waited for the scent to spread. I smelled the sweet smell, and was hit with Dad.
It wasn’t an image, or a feeling; it was just, Dad. And I started to cry. I who had told two people in the last two days in a very matter-of-fact way about my dad’s passing in the summer time. The sisters began the Tantum Ergo and Divine Praises, and I tried to say the words but mostly failed. I have heard that the Holy Spirit has a gift of tears. I don’t know if it was that, but I am pretty sure it was a gift.