Mamma’s Scent

May 26, 2023 | Holiday, Mother | 4 comments

Free Roses Ostrich photo and picture

My sister bought Mamma roses for Valentine’s Day. I admired the colorful flowers but they were not strongly scented. As they began to wilt and their color dulled a strong and sweet fragrance was emitted. This only lasted a few days and the dried roses now hang without life.

It seems but a short time since I ran down the gravel road toward our four room shack. Riding my bike, playing jacks with Momma, washing canning jars and clothes were activities of my summer days. Momma was a wonderful homemaker. She was pretty too, with long slender legs, brown eyes, and dark hair.

Momma was pretty but tough. I found that out the day I ran from her, climbed a tree, and sat stubbornly on a branch far above her reach. There Momma stood with switch in hand and a stern look on her pretty face. She’d sent my brother to get me from my neighbor’s house but I had relished in my rebellion. I had refused to go home.

So my Momma vowed to wait as long as it took for me to decide to descend the tree. I soon succumbed to her authority. I’d known I wouldn’t win. I’ll forever remember the sting across my bare legs as I trekked homeward via the gravel road with a less than pleasant look on my Momma’s face.     

Momma had a different look when she worshipped her Lord. She’d sing and rejoice as she placed our clothes in the big ringer washer. With wooden pens we’d hang wet clothes on the line to dry. Smelling fresh from the scent of outdoors we’d unpin and fold our garments. Momma found joy in daily chores, in raising us, and in spending time with her parents and siblings.

Aunt Betty’s visits were short but Momma always enjoyed these times. Tears had streamed down sweet faces as Momma and her sister sung hymns of praise in our little shack. They shared a spiritual bond that brought them joy in poverty, sickness, and marital stress. I didn’t understand the gravity of their adult problems, but I remember the scent of sisterly love. It wasn’t tangible to smell but was attainable to touch my heart.

My aunt passed away several years ago and my mother is declining. Her desire to see her mother, father, and siblings evoke a sense of family belonging that she misses. One day in the future they will be reunited but until then she sometimes calls me Betty. I’m learning to embrace her error instead of reminding her I’m her daughter Lisa. I’m not sure what tomorrow holds, but life on earth must end for us all. Like my mother, let’s leave the heartfelt scent of motherhood, sisterhood, and salvation for the next generation.

But I have all, and abound; I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, and odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God (Philippians 4:18).


  1. Angela Scheffel Garvin

    You are leaving your scent!!

    • Lisa Robbins

      Thank you sweet friend!

  2. Katherine Pasour

    Such a tender and poignant tribute to your Momma–her strength and courage through the trials are a wonderful example for you. Her love shown through in so many ways, including discipline. Praying for you.

    • Lisa Robbins

      Thank you Katherine, we need constant prayer.


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