Sunday night, I was in the throes of a migraine. I was reaching the end of my bag of tricks to deal with it. I had taken meds. A hot hot shower. Silence. Complete darkness. Head and neck massage. Nothing was working.
The last weapon in my arsenal was deep breathing and visualization. I breathe in through my nose. As I exhale through my mouth, I visualize stress, tension, and pain leaving each body part. I start with my toes and work my way up. Slowly, ever so slowly. If one part doesn't want to relax, I will inhale/exhale several times while concentrating on that spot.
I had worked up to my abdomen and switched over to my fingers to work up my arms. And as I inhaled, I caught a scent. Faint. Sweet. And vaguely familiar. I moved to my wrists and inhaled again. There was the scent - stronger this time. So sweet and so familiar. A comforting scent. I could feel a sense of peace creeping in. As I moved to my forearms and inhaled once again, I recognized that sweet sweet scent.
My Grampa died the day after my third birthday so my memories of him are vague and shadowy. Grampa was a smoker and he rolled his own cigarettes. I was always given the important job of blowing out his match. The scent was my Grampa's tobacco.
Was it a dream? Probably. But the scent was so strong, so distinct that when I opened my eyes, I fully expected to see my Grampa sitting on my sofa, rolling a cigarette.
As soon as I opened my eyes, the scent was gone. But the sense of peace, the sense of safety and comfort that I always felt while sitting on his lap blowing out his match, remained. And it helped the pain ease enough for me to get some rest.
Thank you, Grampa. I still miss blowing out your matches.