The sweet-smelling purple flowers fill the room with life, if only for a moment.
Stepping off the elevator and into the lobby, the only person I see is Kirk. With his back to the elevator, he seems to sense that it is me…
“those are Violets you smell…” he said “I ought to know! I’ve trimmed them this morning as I have done for forty-seven seasons!” he continued as-matter-of-factly.
“Hi Kirk! I….” I squeezed in, but he just continued…
“Forty-seven springs of bloom did I tender!” He pauses as if all of a sudden lost in his own thoughts.
“Even in Nam I grew them! I picked them every morning and placed them on the net of my helmet…”
Wait a second! He’s not talking to me! he’s just recounting his memories. Re-living the moments that the scent of the violets brings.
“Nope! Nam couldn’t kill that…” Now Kirk seems to pause for a second and that causes me to wonder, “they could not kill his plants or his spirit?”
That moment lasted for a few minutes and then all of a sudden a happy moment seems to sneak in. A slim smile graces his somber face as if a water leak just sprung thru a crack in the solid stone wall…
“We even had Violets at my oldest’s wedding!” he joyfully shares.
“Every Spring my daughters used to wake up to the sweet scent of violets in our home. I don’t know why, but slowly the weight of the years and the slipping of the months seem to make the sweet scent just fade away.” he stops as almost to ponder that thought
“I don’t know why, but Violets just seemed to be around less and less till one day…”
Kirk now stopped!
I waited but the pause just lingered.
“…till one day what, Kirk? what happened?” I implored to know. He never reveals any bits about his past, but when moments slip out like this, well I am anxious to know.
My dear, sweet Betty.. .
Kirk stopped all together. The trip down memory lane ended and he just slumped forward in his chair. Kirk reverted back to being a resident at the nursing home and the only thing running now is the drool down his cheek.
So sad to see them just stop like that. But even sadder is that something caused them to shutdown those memories.
The memories are repressed, almost as a way to not hurt any longer.