I sat on the dusty wide-planked floor of my attic and sorted through stored memories. I struggled with the final decisions of how much attraction, or need, that I truly held for each item. Dozens, sometimes hundreds, of decisions waited in every box. Piles expanded for things to keep and for things that needed to go. A stack to sell, another for Goodwill or giveaway to family and friends.

As I added to the get-rid-of section, I noticed Mom’s walker folded and laying on the pink insulation. She passed away five years ago. I walked across the wooden floorboards, stooped like a sheller to avoid the rafters, picked up the walker and placed it on a pile, sealing its fate to exit my life.

I stood, as much as the rafters allowed me to straighten. My fingers were sticky. I realized the walker’s handle still held residue from my mother’s hands. I sniffed my fingers and in an instant was reminded of Mom’s scent – a blend of emu ointment and sweetness. It was the sweet that struck me. And the most precious.

People often complimented her sweetness. She was also patient, supportive, interested. I miss her and her attributes that held me up in times of happiness and sorrow, struggle and success. Her sweet consistency pulls me through, even today.

Marta Dorton 2013

Marta Dorton

A visual artist and writer residing in Lexington, Ky, Marta E Dorton creates vibrant, textured acrylic paintings and colorful printmaking pieces. When she paints or prints, her focus is on color and texture, form and negative space; she blends these values into her writing. Writing has become an important part of sharing her experiences and emotions. Marta states "My husband's death in 2001 sent me into a deep depression. My feelings of hopelessness and loneliness were overwhelming. Writing and creating art have aided my grief journey and served as outlets for expressing a wide range of feelings".

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