by Joann Braswell
(Macon, Georgia-United States)

You wouldn't imagine that a child of two and a half could recollect or describe a particular smell from memory. Even though, at that age, I had not developed the vocabulary to name the smell, I couldn't get that scent out of my head. I associated that smell with the wonderful nurse who took care of me when I was placed in an isolated hosipital room to die.

The year was 1954. I was only two and half years old when I came down with tuberculosis. I was taken away from my small rural home to a hospital miles away in Rome, Georgia. I was put in a ward with other children who were sufferring from the same disease. I was not allowed to see my mother who was in the same hospital. She also had tuberculosis.

I learned to adapt to my new surrounding, and I became quite the entertainer for the other children. I loved to sing. One night, the house mother placed me on top of a milk crate and had me to sing for the other children. I kept singing one song after another, but later on that night I became violently ill. I was throwing up bags of blood. I was rushed off to the isolated ward where they put all kinds of tubes in my small body. I heard my Japanese doctor say that I wouldn't make it. This nurse came in to take care of me.

I could barely see her face, but I smelled the fragrance of her perfume. It reminded me of the fresh flowers in my gradmother's garden. This nurse did not give up on me.

Every night I looked forward to her visit. A month later, I got better. I never saw her again.

When I got older, I was at a store sampling different scents of perfume. I ran across one that reminded me of the same fragrant that this nurse wore, it was called "Jasmine." It has been my favorite perfume since then.

Comments for Jasmine

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Sep 01, 2013
Jasmine NEW
by: Anonymous

What a wonderful and compassion story, this brought memories for me to start my writings as well.
Thanks so much!

Feb 20, 2013
Caught be by surprise NEW
by: Ian

I was truly caught by surprise by this beautiful story. Being a child of the sixties, I still shudder at some of the things I endured, as was the norm. The act of placing an infant in an isolation ward to battle with the whim of fate leaves me both angry and amazed.

Cream really does rise to the top, well done.

Oct 02, 2012
Heart-felt NEW
by: Theresa

I enjoyed reading your writings. I just so happened to log unto this site and your work was the first that I read. Your story was heart-felt and moving. I too smelt the Jasmine as I was reading your words...what a wonderful memory of this heroic nurse. Thank you for your contribution.

Apr 19, 2012
Georgia NEW
by: Anonymous

I loved this vignette. The story of the child singing on the milk crate brought back to me the memory of Shirley Temple. The smell of jasmine is one I associate with warm southern nights.

Jan 11, 2012
Heart warming NEW
by: Aaron

This is a heart warming story that is very
touching. Jasmine is a good title for this story.

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