Growing up, I was a blessed kid. I was surrounded by so much love that I didn’t know any differently. My parents, as crazy as they can be, loved my sister and me unconditionally. Were there moments in which I disappointed them? Of course. However, to this moment, I know that if I need anything, they are a phone call away. I’ve never known anything else.
My father’s parents were also the epitome of unconditional love for me. My Opa would send us hearts on Valentine’s Day. My Oma made our Barbies clothes. When we came up to Syracuse, my sister and I were smothered in my Oma’s love. I mean…we literally almost suffocated when she hugged us…no joke. We would travel through the night, and my Oma and Opa would be up waiting for us, bologna sandwiches at the ready.
My Oma was one of the strongest women I’ve ever met. She met my Opa during WWII in Germany, fell in love, left her country and raised 4 children here in the US. She learned English. She worked in the school cafeteria. She was an excellent cook, could calculate recipes in a way that puts Bobby Flay to shame. I have never met a person who didn’t meet my Oma and fall immediately in love with her.
Today, my Oma would’ve been 90 years old. She went home to be with my Opa in February. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. Losing her was one of the hardest things I’ve experienced. I know I’ve still it fully processed her loss…and from my experience with the loss of my other grandmother, it will occur in waves…sometimes gentle waves, sometimes a tidal wave that threatens to overwhelm.
Today, Oma, I wish you a happy birthday! Give Opa and everyone else a huge hug for me…and eat ALL THE CAKE!