The sun is rising and its glow off the milky, sun-baked clouds is nothing short of amazing. As I stand here, I can’t help but marvel at God’s creation; at the majesty of it all. I can’t remember how I got atop this mountain, and as I strain to think, a brisk wind pushes sharp frozen water pellets into my face, but it doesn’t matter, I can’t feel it. I can’t feel anything.
Let me explain. This is actually my forth sense to go – I lost the other three over the years and all I have left is my sight. As with the previous three, smell, taste, and sound, I needed to test it – to be absolutely sure. When I was twelve, I believe that would have been 1917, I lost my sense of smell. A firecracker on July fourth went right up my nose! That’s not why I lost my sense of smell; but that’s how I realized it was missing.
My dad, at the hospital, said “well I bet that smelled terrible when it exploded.”
It was a funny thing to say really – to suggest having a firecracker explode in my nose must have smelt bad, but then I realized – it didn’t smell like anything at all! Not in the slightest. After I left the hospital, I decided to test my theory and started smelling everything I could. Kids would bring in all sorts of nasty things from all over the neighborhood to see if I could smell it; I smelt everything from oranges to a flattened skunk that ran out of luck along the roadway, but I couldn’t smell a thing! I was completely and utterly without that sense.
Now, as I stand here, I’m afraid to tell you that I’m not sure I can feel and as I think to the future I find myself wondering: How can I appreciate what I have left before that too is ripped away? Will I be just a memory? A faded dream? Does a man cease to exist if he cannot experience the world that he lives in, or is there more than the sum of his senses that defines him?