I was at CVS Pharmacy today and saw a bag Brach's Maple Nut Goodies hanging along a myriad of other candies. This particular one popped out to me because it was my Mother's favorite. I bought a bag and opened it in the car before driving away. I breathed in the distinctive aroma and thought of Mother, wishing I could share the candy with her the way I used to.
I don't understand it all, but those who do tell us smells can trigger memories. Chlorine reminds us of summertime at the pool, for example, and lilies remind us of church or a funeral. All I know for sure is that the smell of Maple Nut Goodies takes me back to a time when my mother was alive. We consumed many bags of the candies together, often just the two of us, not sharing with Dad or my sisters. I think Mother may have felt a little guilty doing it for various reasons, but not guilty enough to forego the pleasure of eating her favorite candy.
Mother and I had a special bond. She taught me to enjoy novels and music, and to sing and go to church. I am thankful to her for that. But one day she let go of me, and became a different person. We suspect Alzheimer's but didn't really find out for sure.
In time, she got to the point where she didn't recognize me, but she remembered the candy and knew I was the one who brought the Maple Nut Goodies to her. By then, she had trouble chewing the "Peanuts in crunchy toffee with maple coating", so she sucked on it until it was soft enough to eat.
I miss her. What a terrible illness it is when the person you love lives for a long time and, still, you don't get to say goodbye.