Pass on the stuff; pass on memories instead

My grandma's garden

My grandmother died last month. I'm still finding it hard to believe she is not here. Every other day I keep thinking I should call her for a chat, then realise I've forgotten she's gone. Even though we lived in different countries, I was lucky that I had a close relationship with her. After finishing high school I lived with her so I could get to know my grandmother better as our relationship was mostly conducted through long and expensive phone calls reserved for birthdays and Christmas. And I'm so glad I did live with her because I gained a deep friendship where I learned a lot.

This is the first time I've lost someone close to me. It hurts i'll never see her again and it hurts even more knowing my son didn't get to meet her beyond Skype video chats. The Builder and I had planned to visit next March just before his second birthday and it's now my biggest regret we didn't go sooner. I would have loved that memory of them meeting.

My sister and I inherited her small collection of jewellery but each time I look at her rings, all I think about are the moments lost and memories that will never be made with my son. While I have many of my own I'll share with him, there is something heart expanding about having the special people in your life meet one another. Losing my grandmother was a painful reminder that collecting stuff is not important. It's the people we love and the memories of these people we cherish, that make for a rich life. I'd happily trade her rings for one last hug. 

We might stick to our plans and make the trip to Arkansas in March (free air flights for children under two which is why I held off visiting for so long!) so I can say a proper goodbye and catch up with the rest of the family too. Our rough itinerary was to visit Little Rock to see dads family then onto New York where my brother lives and a stop off in San Francisco on the way home as the Builder expressed interest in visiting. Or it will be Dallas or Houston before coming back to Australia. It would be special to take my son for a stroll through her beloved garden. My book Waste Not launches in the US April 2 (7 March in UK) and If we do end up travelling I thought it would be fun to organise North American meet ups in those cities while we are there. 

In happier news, we are enjoying the warmer weather and getting excited about the Garage Sale Trail happening in a weeks time. Have you signed your garage sale up? This coming Sunday I'll be at Spring Into Gardening Festival doing a zero waste talk plus beeswax wrap demo and co-hosting the Waste Hub with Zero Waste Victoria. Come visit with your questions on how to reduce waste in your life. My speaking events are set for the remainder of the year. I just might be speaking near you soon. 


  1. I love the photo of your Grandmother's garden. Continue to cherish your memories & pass on what she taught you to your child. Thanks for sharing. Mary Ann (GA, USA)

  2. That is, indeed, a magnificent garden. I think our gardens often reflect what is in our soul. I hope she visits you often in your dreams.

  3. Sorry to hear about your loss. I always found that going for walks where I used to go with my Nan really helped with cherishing those memories.

  4. No matter what, these memories are important. However, it is the passing down of the memories that keep them alive for future generations.


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