Tuesday, April 19, 2016



Jill McClelland

You know how it is. Suddenly you smell something that brings back memories of a past event – the smell of candy floss at a fairground – the smell of frying onions by the sausage sizzle stand. Well, this particular day, I couldn't believe the scent that arose from the flower beds in the cemetery. I had gone to place some flowers on my parents' grave and all of a sudden there came this very strong aroma of violets. The flowers in the beds were roses and there was no accounting for the aroma that was surrounding me.
The last words that my mother spoke to me were that heaven was just like a garden of flowers and the song "Tip Toe through the Tulips" always brings moisture to my eyes.
Lately I have been having vivid dreams of my mother and this was definitely some message coming through.
At home I felt quite strange but after a strong cup of coffee settled slightly. Still the thought persisted that I should go to the garden shed and look through the old tool-box that had stood there for as long as I can remember. I had never looked in it before but the feeling was so intense that I just had to go. Lifting the lid was a hard task as years of debris had filed the hinges with grime. Imagine my surprise when under the rusty tools I saw a canvas bag lying right across the bottom of the chest. I carefully lifted it out and the contents were in surprisingly good repair. Firstly, a beautiful dress embroidered with violets around the sleeves and hem and then a pair of velvet shoes to match. Tiny pale purple gloves and stockings of sheer silk. What did this mean?
I had seen my mother's wedding photos and this wasn't her wedding dress and I had no idea to whom it may have belonged. On looking further I found an envelope full of newspaper clippings all about a young girl who died in suspicious circumstances. My parents never really discussed the past very much and hedged over things that I asked and now I understood. The dress must have belonged to my aunt who they told me had emigrated to New Zealand as a girl.
How I wished my mother had confided in me as to the real story of Violet – for that was her name – and I felt that yesterday at the cemetery she had been trying to tell me about it.
Scents are so personal and have such intimate and personal meanings for all of us. I can't explain this story – it just happened and I thought that I would share it with you.

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