Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Special Lady

In loving memory of my beloved Aunt Oma.

Our precious Aunt Oma passed from this life on earth June 6th.
We are all better for having known her.
I could write book about the life lessons I've learned from her example.

My dear cousin, Karen, wrote what my Aunt Pam shared with us.  It was one of the things Aunt Oma said to Pam when she was reflecting on her life.  "I have lived a long life (98 years) and have few regrets.  Though I never had children of my own, I was loved by nieces, nephews and special friends."  As Karen said, "What more could a person ask for in life?"

She was loved dearly.


Here's Aunt Oma with the boys November 2013.

November 2012


Aunt Oma was a strong Christian who loved the Lord and served Him her whole life.  She was active in her church, WMU, teaching Sunday school and GAs and volunteering at Lake Lavon Baptist encampment.  Aunt Oma and Uncle Garland enjoyed taking trips in their travel trailer.  She was also an excellent seamstress.  She enjoyed sewing her own clothes.  Here are a few words that come to mind when I think of Oma.

She was always...
Ladylike
Gracious
Kind
Loving
Generous
Sincere
Trustworthy
Interesting

We were all close to Aunt Oma for various reasons.  I'll always be grateful for her being there for me when I was at one of the most difficult points in my life.  In my early twenties, I had a period of soul-searching where I tried to make sense of the life I was living.  Most of you know about my childhood and how things weren't "normal".  It was at this time that I reached out to Aunt Oma who was a good listener.  I remember calling her one time in tears talking about our family, and she said, "Sometimes the things we're given  in life aren't fair."  Aunt Oma spoke those words from the heart.  As I said before, she and her husband never had children.  It's not because they didn't want them; she was unable to carry a baby to term.  I clearly remember my grandma telling me about how Oma lost several babies.  Only now as a mother, and someone who had some struggles with infertility, do I somewhat grasp the true understanding Oma had when telling me that sometimes life is unfair.  She and I never spoke about her not having children, but I can only imagine that was a difficult thing do come to terms with, especially as all of her siblings had large families.  I learned from Aunt Oma that no matter what life gives you, you must make the best of it.  She lived that by example.

Of course, I have numerous childhood memories of spending time with her.  I remember seeing her and Uncle Garland at many ponds fishing.  I remember going to her house.  One time I was getting something to drink and there was ice in my glass, and I decided to drink milk.  She said "You wouldn't want to have ice in your milk." and as a little kid, I thought that was the funniest thing ever.  I also remember as a child getting to be a server at her 50th Wedding Anniversary Party.  Aunt Oma and Uncle Garland remodeled/redecorated their home for the special occasion.  Their home was overflowing with friends and family who loved them.  I think I remember my grandma telling me that she once bought new living room furniture for their formal living room when she was going to host her book club.  She and Garland always stayed in a den.  The formal living room and extra bedrooms and bathrooms were on the other side of the house.  The formal living room looked like it was straight out of a Mad Men set--so 1960s.  That reminds me of how Oma dressed--always in a skirt coordinated with a matching blouse and usually a cardigan or neat jacket.  Always put together and ladylike.

When I moved off to college (ETBU) she was always so thoughtful and sent me the sweetest cards in the mail.  It always made my day to check my mailbox and find a card from her.

One of the neatest memories I have is when I moved to Bryan, Texas to attend Texas A&M.  I shared a townhouse with two other friends and Aunt Oma came down with my grandparents to help me move in.  I didn't expect her to actually help with the moving in part, but she jumped right in and carried an armful of my stuff up the stairs.  I love that memory of her so much!  I can just see it now, this petite, little lady with a drawer full of my clothes that was taken from the dresser I was going to move upstairs.  Makes me smile as I type this memory.

Another memory of Oma is when she had open heart surgery in the Fall of 2001.  Mark and I had just started dating.  Aunt Oma had to stay at my grandparents' home to recover.  I think she instantly liked Mark.  Mark and Oma are true Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers fans.  Oma even got to meet Nolan Ryan in 2012.  She and Mark always had interesting conversations about sports.  As you can see in the first photo, the sports page is in her lap.  Mark and I would always get tickled because she would call Tony Romo, Tony "Romeo" and Dez Bryant "Daisy" Bryant.

One of the final memories I have of Oma before she fell and broke her hip and had to transition to life in the nursing home was Christmas 2004.  Mark and I didn't have children then, and my grandparents and Oma spent Christmas day with us at our home.  We ate a big meal and then watched a Dolly Parton Christmas movie and DVDs of The Andy Griffith Show.  Mark still says that's one of his best memories with my family.

She was blessing to us all.  She will be greatly missed.

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

2 comments:

  1. What a sweet post and beautiful tribute to your Aunt Oma. Thinking of you and your family during this time of loss. I'm so glad that you shared these words here. She would smile if she could read this! xo

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  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how much you loved her and how fondly you always talked about her.

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