Photo courtesy of Anais Cabral

Cabral cultivates family memories

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Senior Anais Cabral spritzes her beloved apple tree with cool water, reflecting on the day she got it. It felt like yesterday when her grandma teased her for bringing home a whole tree for Valentine’s Day instead of a bouquet of roses like everyone else.

Between the ages of four and five, Cabral’s grandma introduced her to the wonderful world of gardening. It started off small. with helping her grandma do some of the gardening chores, and soon evolved to Cabral maintaining her own luscious and diverse garden today.  

“Little by little, my grandma would have me water the houseplants with a cup of water, check the soil, and make sure they were in the sun to get all the nutrients they needed,” Cabral said. “My house looks like a forest with trees and roses and a bunch of flowers that don’t match whatsoever, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 

One of Cabral’s favorite aspects of gardening was how it allowed her to bond with her grandma. Being the only two people with green thumbs in the family, planting flowers and exploring what nature has in store were amazing ways for the two to form long-lasting memories and appreciate the beauty of the Earth. 

“When I was younger, I would run around in the grass, and she would spray me with the water hose,” Cabral said. “I remember just laughing and having so much fun learning about the different types of flowers and all the different flowers she would come home with.” 

Recently, Cabral’s grandma passed away. Her death was difficult to process for Cabral, as they had a strong and meaningful relationship with each other. Nonetheless, Cabral was able to find a sense of comfort with her garden. 

“Every time I see a flower or tree, I think of her,” Cabral said. “When it rains and I can smell the wet dirt, I think of her and all the fun and the memories that we had.”

In the future, Cabral wants to continue gardening. She sees it as a way to celebrate and remember her grandma’s life and their relationship.   

“I think I will continue to garden in the future because it will be a small way to always have my grandmother with me even though she’s not here anymore,” Cabral said. “She loved to garden and when I would help her. I feel a little sad when I think about it, but I know that eventually, I’ll turn it into a happy way of remembering her.”

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