For The Loving Memory

… of my beloved grandmother.


I would never forget how she loved the jasmine. Its fragrance always bring back the loving memory of my grandmother. We always had jasmine plants grow in our garden, always in front of the house. In Indonesia, they grow almost like a shrub.

When they were blooming, before the evening settled in my siblings and I took turn to pick them up. Then we handed them to Mammie, that’s how we called our grandma. She would smelt them while saying thank you to us. As long as I could remember, she always kept a handful of fresh jasmine from the garden with her handkerchief in her muumuu’s pocket in the evening. Then she would put the jasmine next to her pillow. The next day, her smooth and short wavy white hair (yes, totally white colour) would smell like jasmine, the air in her bedroom would also be filled with the jasmine’s fragrance. And if that evening we got more than a handful of jasmine, she would spread the flowers in her closet.

Last year, near summertime, I found the jasmine plants in Walmart. Oh how I got so excited. I brought home two pots and my husband helped to replanted them in bigger pots. When finally the flowers started to bloom, I could not help myself for not getting teary eyes. Almost four years in Canada, finally I got the chance to smell the real jasmine’s fragrance again. Last time I smell this unforgettable fragrance was on my wedding day in 2006, I think. My mom brought the jasmine garland all the way from Indonesia to Canada to go along with my wedding hairdo.

Honestly, this is one of the things that I miss since I left my homeland. In Indonesia, you will get jasmine anytime, so easy. You could plant or buy it all year long. But when you live in this northern part of British Columbia where the cold days prefer to stay longer than the warm days, you will realize how lucky you are to get a nice flower even it’s only in your house, let alone having jasmine.

Now in April 2011, I saw how my jasmine plants have survived after almost a year. Started with one bud then bloomed, as per today I counted more than a dozen buds ready to bloom from one pot. Same goes with the other pot. Last night, as I was busy editing my pictures, I smelt something familiar. Apparently the second one started to bloom also.

How I’m glad to have you at my home now, Jasmine.
How I miss you, Mammie…
Seeing the jasmine that I have here now, how I wished I could pick and give them all for you like those evenings in Bandung and Jakarta.
What I could now every time I smell them, I say my prayer for you.
May you rest in peace, Mammie; I believe you have the best jasmine up there….

Nyi Raden Dinarsadhe Tirtasapoetra (circa 1940)

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2 thoughts on “For The Loving Memory

  1. Assalam aleikum
    I was thrilled to read your post this has brought many good memories those that time makes us forget

    • bintanghoward says:

      Wa Alaikum Salam Alinne,
      I’m glad you like this post.
      Thank you for visiting and please do come often too.

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