Posted in blogging, expatriate, family, moving, photography

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few Of My Favorite Things.

For more about the Weekly Writing Challenge, click here. For more about this week’s writing challenge, click here.

(NOTE: This is the challenge from 2 weeks ago. Whatever… I’m still dealing with jet lag from going home. Better late than never.)

My maternal grandmother died over 17 years ago. Although it has gotten easier with time and the pain isn’t as sharp as it used to be, the longing, the memories, the love… even the pain, no matter how dull… never go away. She was a major part of my life. We (her grandkids) saw her almost every day, as she lived down the block from us and watched us after school sometimes while our parents worked and made their way home in the evenings. We’d play in front of her building, not too far from her sight of course. Our old neighborhood is far from savory, so after calling us to get in before the street lights came on, we were inside with her and/or down the hall at my god-sister’s house and/or upstairs at my play cousin’s house (her god-daughter).

Before I moved over here, my aunt J surprised me & gave me one of my grandmother’s possessions as a parting gift. It pained her to do it (she shed a few tears), but she wanted me – the oldest grandchild & only granddaughter – to have it. I was, and still am, humbled by it and keep it on my dresser. I’ve even used it once or twice. What is it, you ask?

Her old school powder puff. (I have other items from her, but this one sticks out the most.)

Grandma used this powder all the time, whether she was making a quick run to the store, or going on a weekend trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey (Wikipedia link) with her sisters (my great-aunts), or visiting Panama (Wikipedia link) or Barbados (Wikipedia link) or (insert anywhere here). I vaguely remember her putting it on, standing in front of her mirror as she finished getting dressed. I loved hugging & kissing her after she dabbed the powder on her neck & chest because she smelled so sweet! She’d fuss at me a little – “Don’t mess up my face (make-up) & clothes!” – but she knew full well that she loved her granddaughter’s hugs & kisses.

I still think about her, miss her, and love her beyond infinity. I wonder how our relationship would be if she were still alive. Grandma liked travelling a bit, so I’m sure that she’d visit me over here for a while and, later, fuss at me for making such a fuss over her.

(Panamanian accent) “You don’t worry about me! I’m not that old, I know where I’m going. I want to explore this place, it’s so big, my goodness!… Yes, I know it’s like back home but still, it’s big!… Just give me the spare keys so I can find my way around… Yes I’m sure, dammit! You’re not too grown for a pop in the mouth. Your mouth fresh!… Yes, I’ll be fine… Yes, I’ll call you… No, I won’t lose the spare phone… Alright alright! Ay yi yi, dios mio, yes I’ll behave!… I love you too, babes.”

If any of you are from the Caribbean or Central America or South America (hell, almost anywhere worldwide) and you have grandparents or older parents who visit you when you’re an expatriate, they stay long time! My grandmother would surely stay at least a month.

I laugh just thinking about it… but that’s how I picture things in my mind if she were still alive. I’d prefer her to be here in body & mind, but at least I carry her spirit with me everywhere. And it only takes one whiff of her powder to reminisce and treasure the memories.

You are forever missed & loved. Que en paz descanse pa’siempre, Grandma. And thank you, aunt J.

The crack in the cover tells a story.
The crack in the cover tells a story.
Grandma's essence.
Grandma’s essence.

Tell me about your favorite things in the comments section.


Spinster. Traveler. Just me.

7 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few Of My Favorite Things.

  1. My grandmother will be 84 in a couple of days. She has always been a huge presence in my life. She is my only living grandparent. She gave me a bible when I was fairly young. Even though I grew up to not believe a word the book says I still cherish it because it came from her.


    1. Bless. Same here: I’m now agnostic, but the Bible that my mother gave me years ago has my grandmother’s death date recorded in it, so I refuse to get rid of it. All of my grands are gone, so you’re lucky to have one of yours left. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂


  2. Awesome entry!!! I can almost smell her from your description!

    Two of my favourite things is a set of “ruby” leaf earrings that my aunt gave me 3 years before she died. She was soooooooooooooooo insistent that I pick them up from my other aunt who she left them with. I should wear them, and although her passing will be 10 years the day before Thanksgiving this year, I just like to open the box and remember that wonderful woman. The second thing, a daily reminder of her, is her apron that hangs in my kitchen. It’s kinda beat up now but it’s going to have to get to it’s last thread before I throw it out!!!! LOLOL!


    1. LMAO! What a coincidence. One of the other items that I have from my grandmother is a nightgown, and it’s ALL KINDS of worn out (right sleeve is hanging by a thread, no exaggeration LMAO!), but I’m keeping it forever.

      Wear those earrings and the tattered apron. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.


  3. I think my mom had one, actually I’m pretty sure my mom had one of those powder puff boxes when I was little. I don’t have any specific artifact, but I believe I picked up the art of cooking from my paternal grandmother. Each year we’d drive south to visit and she made biscuits from scratch each morning. Because of her I learned to cook a lot of dishes from scratch. Haven’t perfected biscuits yet though.


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