Celebrating a wonderful life!
Back in 2010, after living in the UK for almost a decade and when my business was just a few scribbles in a holiday sketchbook, I started thinking seriously about what I would name my little startup. I didn’t want to call it my name but I knew I wanted it to be meaningful. I searched high and low for ideas but nothing was being ignited in that crazy head of mine. Randomly one day however, it came to me. It was meaningful, it was catchy and it was reflective of what I wanted this business to be (ie: about colour)...and it was sitting there right in front of me. It was a name that I had said and heard so many times growing up and it was a name that held so much love in my heart. It was the name of my gorgeous Grandmother - Ruby Olive.
I told my grandma back in 2010 that I wanted to name my new business after her...and her response was a lovely ‘Awwww, that’s nice’.
I sent her gorgeous branded postcards with her name and clippings from magazines and newspapers which featured her name, and even years later after I’d launched in the US, won some fancy awards and been on TV, I still don’t think she really ever comprehended how many people actually knew her name.
My Grandma was my last living grandparent, and I consider myself so lucky that she was in my life as long as she was. She was able to meet my boys, and my boys got to know their GG or ‘GREAT’ grandma - as they called her (they’d always emphase the GREAT). As my boys got older, so did grandma. When grandma was not well it was so touching to see my eldest (6) treat her with such kindness. He’d kiss her gently on her forehead, hold his little hand around hers and give her sweet smiles….followed by a one way dialogue on Lego, giant snakes and monster trucks. Clearly she had no idea what he was talking about, but it was her beautiful twinkling eyes that told him that she was so happy he was there by her side.
Grandma wasn’t well for quite a while, infact over the last year she experienced quite a few TIA’s (mini strokes) and began to get worse and worse, never really recovering. Late last year I heard her utter what I believe were a few softly spoken pleasantries but she hadn’t spoken anything conversational for some months.
In March we were told she ‘didn’t have long, maybe days, maybe a week’, it wasn’t nice to hear, but it didn’t come as a surprise. She ended up hanging on about 15 days...no food, no water, nothing but morphine to keep the pain at bay. Awful really. (Made me think about the argument for Euthanasia...but that’s a whole other discussion for another day).
As my dad said in her Eulogy a few weeks ago...
’Today is a celebration of a wonderful woman’.
And indeed she was a wonderful woman. A kind, thoughtful and gentle woman. A woman who would do anything for her family and made the BEST sponge cakes and sweet treats, and we certainly can’t forget the never ending jar of Monte Carlo cream biscuits that used to live in her pantry. She was a woman whose garden was full of the strongest scented roses in the most amazing array of colours. A woman whose hands were so incredibly soft from the 60 years of milking cows as a dairy farmer’s wife.
A celebration it certainly is.
I write this post, just before Mother’s Day, to pay tribute to not just my grandmother but to all the mums, grandmothers, great grandmothers, step mothers, god mothers and all the other wonderful women who have touched our lives in amazing ways but are no longer physically with us. What they have left behind are the special memories and stories that deserve to be celebrated.
Big heartfelt cheers this Mother’s Day to those very special women xx
Have you got a story or a memory of someone special that you’d like to share? I’d be truly honoured to hear it (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment it below).
In memory of my beautiful grandma, Ruby Olive, I've launched some little earrings cards (see images below) and 10% of the proceeds of each earring sale will be donated to The Australian Alzheimer’s research foundation.
The handwritten message on the front of these little cards are thanks to a beautiful mum and artist, Annie Love, who started hand lettering as a form of therapy after one of young boys passed away. You can find out more about her heartfelt story of grief HERE.
Big thanks to our very own Shaelah Ariotti for the original artwork.