This is how I remember my Oma. Happy, full of love, beautiful. I am beyond blessed to have had her my entire 47 years. It makes saying goodbye so hard.

I am the oldest grandchild. I am the luckiest grandchild. I remember rainy days on end, playing duizenden and always losing (I was in my 20s before I learned she was a really good cheater).

I loved being sick at her house. No one makes liga/sinasapple/banana “pap” like Oma. I loved taking the bus to den Bosch and running errands with her. I especially loved it when they were long errands and we could have lunch on top of the V&D too.

My favorite was having a tientje pushed into my hand. Her hand warm and firm over mine:

“Niet verliezen hè?” And going to the baker to buy little cakes for unexpected visitors. It was always so hard not buying them all.

I loved playing in the attic, alone or with my cousins, digging through her clothing or my uncles old war gear. The best days were the days we could play with Opas billiard table, not that we were allowed to touch it often.

I can still remember the smell of her house. Part old, part clean, part my favorite meal. How she managed to cook for all of us in a kitchen the size of a galley is beyond me.

These last years, as her speech left her, I still felt loved and part of our own world. Her words may have been few and far between but her face spoke volumes. She was still there. And I am so incredibly grateful I got to spend her last years nearby.


My Oma en Opa

I lost my beautiful Oma, my hero, this week. It was peaceful, quiet and still surprising. Somehow, even at 100, I didn’t think she’d really go. I miss her with all my heart.