“These are special coins”, my grandmother used to say to me.

She would hand me a bundle of coins – usually $30 at once – that she had lovingly cleaned, dried and bundled in a plastic freezer bag for me. There would be coins that had a design slightly different from the rest, or coins that were just particularly shiny and looked brand new. Nevertheless, any coin that she chose immediately became special to me.

Week after week, I would collect these coins, putting them in a small locked safe that my grandmother also gave me, that once belonged to her youngest daughter.

These coins, I have never spent. These coins, I have kept always, because they hold more meaning to me than the monetary value placed upon them.

These coins, I still have – all except for eight. Eight $1 coins that I lovingly bundled in a plastic freezer bag and lay with my grandmother when I had to say goodbye. All except eight $1 coins that my grandmother once collected for me, and now I have returned to her if only to give back a fraction of everything that she had given for me.

Because it was my grandmother that showed me the value of something special, and it was my grandmother that showed me that there are some things in life, you cannot put a price on.

I chose to return 8 coins because in the Chinese culture, 8 is a lucky number.

This is dedicated to my grandmother who passed away on February 26th, 2017. Today would have been her 78th birthday. Happy birthday Popo. I miss you.

Emily Trinh

I write poetry and prose, hoping to inspire and connect.

  • Catarina Alexon

    What a nice story, Emliy. Your grandmother found an adorable way of showing you the importance of saving. Am not surprised you are keeping the coins.

  • So sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing. my grandfather passed a few months ago and it is so horrible to lose a loved one. i hope you and your family are doing well <3

    Abigail Alice 💕

    • I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. Thank you for reading and I hope you and your family are doing well also. x

  • I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother, but she sounds like such a wise woman 🙂

  • Rose Mary Griffith

    Lovely thought, Emily…glad your grandmother was precious to you and sad for your loss.

  • This is a lovely tribute to your Grandmother. And sorry for your loss. That is great that you have all the coins she gave you over the years. They will be a great memory of your Grandmother that you can always go back to.

  • Such a heart-warming post. I’m sending all the love your way, love. It sounds like your grandma was a very lovely and precious person to you. x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  • So sorry for the loss of your grandmother, Emily. It sounds like she was a wonderful and thoughtful person, and that many of her good qualities have rubbed off on you. I’m sure she will always be with you in spirit.

  • What a lovely tribute to your Grandmother, Emily. You obviously loved her very much. She is watching over you. You will always have a connection.

  • Caitlin

    This was such a beautiful read! Sorry for your loss <3

    Caitlin, Beauty & Colour

  • I am so sorry for your loss, your grandma seems to have been a very special person. In Germany there is a tradition that young girls start collectiong 1 Pfennig pieces to pay for their wedding shoes. That changed when the € was introduced, but I still remember a few of my girl friends having glasses with coins on their vanity.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Oh I’ve never heard of that tradition. Sounds like something really great to do! Thank you for reading.

  • Olia Majd

    So cool I love it

    Hope you’ll stop by:


  • What a lovely tradition and though. You were very lucky to have such a special grandmother.

  • Sushmita Thakare Jain

    Sorry for your loss dear, I still miss my grandpa who I missed few years ago hence I do understand how you feel dear, in fact we all have to experience the pain st some point of time.
    Thank you for sharing this part of your life which is so close to your heart for sharing with us. <3

  • Sorry for your loss Emily, she sounds like a amazing grandmother to have xx

    Reine | Sincerely Reine

  • My paternal grandmother had a charming quirk that I share: a fondness for frogs. Ribbit!

  • Michael

    This was an interesting post, one which caused me to revisit my parents and grandparents deaths. That was a good thing. It also reminded me of a Chinese proverb I like. ” Life is a dream walking, death is going home.”

    • That’s a really lovely proverb to keep in mind. It can ease the feelings of grief when you think about death as going home. Thank you for sharing.