read to feed the soul

Written by FBJ Women for Women

September 1, 2020

by: Camille Anding

Lingering Aromas

The last days of summer are not only stealing away all the flower gardens; they’re sending students off to college in pursuit of higher education. Delta State College probably looks nothing like it did in the fall of ’63, but some of the pain I felt after being left there by my family must still be bouncing around the walls. They call it adulthood, maturity, cutting the apron strings. It felt more like open-heart surgery with no anesthetic!

It was a strange campus in a strange land that I struggled to appreciate. I missed the red hills and tree-lined highways of north Mississippi. I unpacked my suitcases in a lifeless steel-gray room and set up home with a roommate that I had only met by letter. I was appalled that I was leaving a family of 17 years to relocate in an unfamiliar building and hang my toothbrush next to a perfect stranger. Would she be a new adult friend for life, or would she turn schizophrenic at midnight? Only time would tell.

I relived some of those same emotions when we helped move our own children to their freshman dorm. Optimism attempted to remind me that college days were better with this generation, and everyone had cell phones.

Optimism fled when we said our final goodbyes, and my jaw that I had clinched with my teeth didn’t hurt as badly as my heart. My trip home was a tearful “cry-down.”

By the time we reached home, my composure had returned along with a positive mindset about the blessings of going to college and minds that could learn. Then I stepped into the back door and met the lingering fragrance of our daughter’s favorite perfume. A pain that can’t be rubbed away joined me.

Suddenly I was lifted out of gloom to joy when I realized that our children’s fragrances had always been a sweet aroma to their parents. Their cologne and perfume fragrances were reminders of the blessed aromas of their lives that would always fill our home.

We all leave behind aromas – sweet or bitter, kind or harsh, friendly or distant, generous or selfish – and the choices go on and on. Aromas are a part of all of our lives. Whether we leave the room, leave for college, or leave this life, we all leave some kind of aroma. An occasional “sniff” test might be in order for each of us.

2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

Heavenly Father, may this be my prayer as I seek to follow Christ. Amen

Camille Anding

Camille Anding


  • Camille Anding is a child of God since age 12.
  • Wife of 53 years to Othel; mother to Tahya and Eli;l grandmother to seven grandchildren and two great-grands.
  • Retired from photography business with Othel. Now carry cameras on their travel adventures.
  • Freelance writer, regular contributor to Hometown magazines, and dedicated to living “my utmost for His highest.”