Maybe you are not familiar with the stinkbug.
The stinkbug is a brown, shield-shaped insect about 1/4-1/2″ long. It is aptly named. When you scare it or crush it, the stinkbug emits a terrible smell that hangs on for hours. It is a terrible flyer. It’s wings make a distinctive buzz as it zips around the room hitting walls and ceilings in an attempt to land. Usually it has a hard time hanging on the wall so it will try over and over again before falling to the floor.
Memories are like stinkbugs.
You may be having a perfectly fine day, not thinking about your pending divorce, your spouse’s midlife crisis or illicit affair, the pain of your children, or the sadness you feel from the loss of your marriage when…SURPRISE! A memory appears on your otherwise happy brain. It flies up into your face, looking for a place to land. It circles around and around and around trying to get a-hold of a tiny section of your consciousness where it can invite more stinkbugs. Just like the real insect, the memory is drawn to light, bright places. Your happy thoughts are the light it seeks.
And when the memory finally sits still long enough for you to squish it with a Kleenex, the smell it leaves behind haunts you for hours.
I had my stinkbug moment this morning.
While making my morning cup of caffeine, I opened the drawer that holds all of my tea supplies. A memory of Husband #2 came wafting out of the drawer and hit me in the face. He was the one who used to make my tea each morning as part of our daily ritual. He was the coffee drinker, I was the tea drinker. We would sit together and watch the news before starting the day. I tried to squish that memory with my mental Kleenex but it wouldn’t go away. It only brought with it the next memory…of us sitting outside with our cups of whatever on cool spring mornings, having a little fire on the patio, and listening to the bird songs.
Now there is no coffee in the house at all. Not a single bean.
It doesn’t matter. Husband #2 will haunt my memories for a while.