I’ve just been away in Queensland for a few days at the Word Writer’s Getaway – A retreat and conference for Christian authors.  I took baby Molly with me, so it wasn’t exactly a holiday for me, but it was refreshing to meet with and be encouraged by other authors.  I could only attend this conference because my parents came down specially to look after Birdy (Thanks Mum and Dad!) I was pleased about this because I have really special memories of time spent with my Granny when my parents were away.  Hopefully it was a special time for them both.

I never met either of my grandfathers – they both died before I was born – but I did have a close relationship with one grandmother in particular, my father’s mother.  She lived a long way away in Queensland for most of my childhood, but that made it even more exciting when we went to visit, especially as she lived at the beach. Going up there for holidays was one of the highlights of my childhood, and even though we didn’t see her very often, I always felt a deep affection for my grandmother. I was devastated when she died.

I was 15 when my grandmother passed away.

Finding out my grandmother had died is probably the strongest memory Ihave from my teenage years.  I remember the teacher standing in the doorway of the classroom, calling my name.  As soon as she said my name I knew exactly what had happened!  I have no idea how I knew, but I just did.

Ever since my grandmother passed away, I have kept a brown velvet jacket that she used to wear. 

I wore this jacket constantly until I was in my mid twenties.  For the next ten years I kept it in a cupboard, but hardly ever wore it because it was falling apart.  Even though it’s in terrible condition, and my grandmother would be horrified to know I still have it, I just can’t bring myself to throw it out.  Right now, it is actually hanging over the rail on my back verandah, waiting for me to ‘de-clutter’ it out to the garbage.  I still can’t bring myself to do it!

What should I do?  Keep it or chuck it?

I’m not generally a big hoarder, but I do like to keep special gifts and notes and letters from special people in my life.  Nothing will convince me to part with these treasures.  And my grandmother’s jacket is one of the last things I have from her, other than memories and a few letters.  Every time I see it, hanging there on my back verandah, I’m reminded of just how special grandparents are in a child’s life.  The thing I remember most about my grandmother is the beautiful hugs she gave me.  I can still feel her bony ribs sticking into me as she threw her arms around me and held me tight.  Because of those hugs, I never had any doubt that she loved me.

So I hope that Birdy enjoyed her special weekend with her grandparents while I was away.  Maybe one day she’ll be the one holding onto something special from her Granny.

Have you ever saved something special from a grandparent or someone who has moved on or passed away?  Do you have memories of being looked after by somebody special as a child?