Breathe Deep.

Everyone has an aura.

It is supposed to be a color manifestation. Something that surrounds and emanates from a person.

While I really have not seen one, I have encountered warmth, openness, and a sense of groundedness when I meet people. I think that type of “draw” is what makes people so approachable.

It is like passing a bakery and then backing up to go inside. Sometimes we are drawn by these unspoken cues.

Yesterday, I picked up some of my father’s clothes to put in a garage sale. As I walked to my car, I closed my eyes and stuck my nose deeply into the center of the bundle I was holding. It was if I held my father in my hands. Even after almost three years, I could smell his scent on his suits. Flashes of formal occasions with him, dancing close, hugging him hello and goodbye were overwhelming. My dad was something.

I guess I never realized all the things we leave with our loved ones when we pass on. There have been many occasions to remember, through photographs, the fun times. It has been a joy to hear what other people have shared about their dealings with my dad. But his scent? That was a private wonderful thing for me. I was transported to my Blue Bird Father/Daughter Banquet at the Red Carpet. It was just for me and my dad. We ate crispy fried chicken and I sang with Bill Elliott’s Trio on stage. Dad and I danced and I stuck my nose in his lapel and breathed in deeply.

That smell! It was a mixture of soap, after shave, and safety. It was a wonderful and bittersweet memory. A highlight I had forgotten. A time to be the special kid which was rare in our tribe of five, yet, my dad made sure we each have one. It got me to thinking.

When we become parents, we are often so worried about giving our kids the very best experiences. One after the other, these experiences will blur. But the essence of who you are, how you treat your child, even what you smell like are the things that will endure. It is not about “things” and you already know you can’t keep up with the Joneses. Unspoken cues. They are so powerful. What will you leave with those who meet you? What have you already left? Thanks for listening.

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