Both my grandmother and my nephew have been without the sense of smell for years. My grandmother developed scent problems slowly and eventually lost them completely later in her life. My Nephew lost his at only 14 years old after being hit by a truck on a highway (very scary, but he’s doing just fine now, other than the smell thing).
Because I’m a very sense-oriented kind of person myself, I frequently put my foot in my mouth when I’m around them for saying things like, “Wow, can you smell the new coconut incense I got? It smells heavenly!” To which my nephew will usually reply with disdain, “Aunt Kimberly… I can’t smell. Remember?!?” Or my Grandmother might say, “Sorry, dear. I just can’t smell anything anymore, you know.”
I have to say that losing this particular sense would be especially tough for me. I have a keen sense when it comes to aromatics and always have. I especially love to savour pleasant smells with my eyes closed and deep breathing (I know, I can be weird sometimes – lol). This is almost like meditation to me. I find it to be a very comforting technique when used as a coping mechanism for stress.
I rely on my sense of smell for important things too, like personal safety (smelling a fire or food that may be off) and for everyday comfort (to tell if something is clean or not). To me, smell is essential to the enjoyment that I seek in life. I just cannot imagine a world where I wouldn’t be able to stop and smell the flowers, especially on the first rainy day after they bloom.
So my question to my loved ones is always the same, “If you can’t smell anything, can you taste anything then?” It’s interesting because both of them say the same thing, “Sometimes they can taste if food is stong flavoured, but most of the time it is faint and/or bland.” My nephew adds that he likes to imagine what the foods used to taste like because it makes eating more entertaining.
This all seems like such a terrible fate to me and I wish neither my grandmother or nephew had to deal with it. Both of them seem to have adjusted well and rarely complain about it, though. They’re seriously amazing. They have taught me not to take even the simplest thing for granted, which is a truly great lesson.
So this week, I’m definitely thankful for the ability to smell. Thankful that I am one of the lucky ones who can enjoy the fragrant aroma of a morning cup of coffee. Ahhhh.
What are you thankful for this week? Feel free to comment below.