We squeezed in a trip to Holland before the snows gets deep.  I’m not a fan of zooming down the autobahn at 80-90 miles an hour with ice so I mostly skip winter visits.  I needed some St. Nicholas supplies (chocolate letters are much loved here) and I missed my family.  Especially my Oma.  It is always bittersweet visiting her.  Her hair, though now snow white, is still totally her hair.  And when our eyes meet, I see her in there, but she is no longer the same woman. So much is still there, but with the loss of intelligible speech comes a loss of who she is.  It hurts.  And I see it hurts her.  I want to reach deep inside and just pull her back out.  Instead I hug her, and love her, and talk her ears off.

Mostly she ignores me.  What she really loves is to cuddle with Dane.  The second she spots him her face literally lights up.  A huge grin spreads across her face and she always looks me right in the eye. I can see “thank you” as clearly as her saying it.  I plop him on her tray (she’s in a wheelchair now) and she grabs tight.  She doesn’t let go until the very last second.  Dane is an amazing sport.  He lets her cuddle, and kiss, and fuss with his clothes.  It does get a little boring, just sitting, and being fussed with, and loved, so this time I let him play his gamegirl (his is Tess’ old one, and pink, so… gamegirl).

Oma was fascinated by the gameboy & the little moving pictures on his screen.  She “helped” him play Mario.  Normally if you mess with Dane’s gameboy he has a fit, but this time he just stopped and waited patiently for her to touch the screen and push all the buttons.  I’m pretty sure she cost him a game.  He never squawked once.