Rainy Days and Mondays

Rainy Days and Mondays

I feel I should explain why there was no Perfume Chat Room post last Friday, as I try to make sure I set up that weekly space for community chit-chat. My father-in-law, whom I loved dearly, died last Monday and his funeral was yesterday. So yes, the last couple of Mondays have been sad ones.

But, as the Carpenters’ lyrics say,

Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny, but it seems that it’s the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me (the one who loves me)

My father-in-law knew how much he was loved, and my husband knows how much I loved his father. He always made me feel that I belonged, right from the start, although I was the first non-Catholic to marry into the family. My FIL, a decorated career military officer, was totally open and direct about his affection for people he loved — he proposed to my MIL on their first date, and he proposed to me on behalf of my then-boyfriend, now husband, the first night I met my future in-laws. He was a dear, dear man, who taught his sons also to be loving, kind men. And while we’re sad to lose him and will miss him, he was in his 90s and had lost his beloved wife of 60 years five years ago. He was clear of mind and loyal of heart until the very end, and he chose not to go back to the hospital when his heart issues worsened. He wanted to be reunited with his beloved, and had the faith that he would be.

It’s funny, because I don’t actually know whether my FIL ever wore Old Spice, but to me he was the quintessential “dad” who would have worn it. Old-fashioned in a nice way. Warm, cozy, and fatherly. Deceptively simple and straightforward, with hidden depths that weren’t demons — just more layers of warmth and sweetness, together with complexities. His funeral Mass was beautiful, and it included the traditional incense, which I found very comforting.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”

— William Shakespeare

Pope Francis and statue of Virgin Mary, with incense
Pope Francis uses incense during Mass in Verano cemetery, Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Perfume Chat Room, May 13

Perfume Chat Room, May 13

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is Friday, May 13, and my nose is full of the fragrance of rose gardens. Plus many other choice blossoms and plants such as wisteria, osmanthus, even eucalyptus. What a wonderful month May is, for garden flowers and fragrance! I have many new photos of flowers, mostly roses, which I’ll share soon on my Instagram account once I’ve tidied them up a bit.

We’ve had a sad loss since my post last Friday — a close friend of my son’s from high school died last weekend after two months of surgery and intensive care following an abdominal injury. My son and his friends have handled this pretty well, though they are very sad. They have really rallied around the bereaved family and supported them as well as each other. I’m very proud of the maturity my son has shown, but I still have concerns about how he and his friends will feel the impact of this grief. However, they all have great families and overlapping communities to help them. Most of them will be home for the summer, having returned from college, and they will be a comfort to each other as well as to the family of their friend.

I’m glad the semester is over at the university where I work, and the summer will be much quieter, so I can focus on my son, and his sisters who have been remarkable in how they have come forward to support him. I spend much of the academic year tending to the needs of other people’s young adult children, aka my students; I’ll be glad to put that aside for a while and tend to my own.

Will your summer be busy or quiet?

Bouquet of garden roses by David Austin, including Teasing Georgia, Lady of Shalott, Carding Mill, Olivia Rose Austin, Munstead Wood.
An assortment of David Austin’s English Roses, including the dark crimson “Munstead Wood.”