|My paternal Oma and Opa on their wedding day|
I tried really really really hard to find a picture of just you and me. But Johnny and/or Amanda seem to be in ALL of them. I can think of two, one from my wedding day and one from many many year ago. It's in your backyard and I'm about 2ish and I'm not wearing any pants because I'm potty training. Yeah no digital copy of that picture exists...thank goodness. At first I was frustrated and I thought Oma would totally sympathize, "she's a twin" I thought, "I'm sure her brother John was in lots of picture with her so she'll totally know my frustration." Then I realized the absence of lots of picture of just you and I speaks so specifically to the kind of person you are I was suddenly okay with it. You always want to treat all your grandchildren the same. If one got something you mailed that exact something to the others. Therefore, why would you play favourites in pictures? That and you're a sensible woman and you know it would take forever because there are so many of us so we might as well all pile in for pictures.
On this the occasion of your 85th birthday I can't help but feel overwhelmed with a strange combination of joy and fear. Joy that you've made it this far. You're a tough old broad. Fear that your long amazing journey is almost over. (This is at which point Oma I would usually use the f-word about cancer but even though you're 85, 7000 km away and very sick I'm fairly sure you'd figure out a way to yell at me for swearing.)
|My favourite picture of my Oma|
The day in January I found out your cancer diagnosis I crumbled to the floor and wailed at Johnathan. I cried and sobbed and gasped for air and went far beyond the ugly cry. I looked at him in desperation and said, "...but she was suppose to live forever." And I continued to fall apart in his arms. Cancer has ripped through our family but for whatever reason I thought in the deepest parts of my heart some how you would be immune. Because of who you are and your very character that cancer would take one look at one and think, "nope, not going there, she's going to kick my ass." For the most part you are showing the cancer whose boss but, eventually you just won't have it in you anymore. Not because you will give up. No. But because you're tired and you're 85 so you're allowed to be tired now.
|My dads first Christmas|
The answer is very simple. Very you. Live. As progressive as you are in some ways Oma you are still very "old school" in others. You don't want to inconvenience anyone therefore living my life is the best way to honour your life.
|My wedding day|
Now this is the point where I should be wishing you many more trips around the sun. But in all honesty I don't think you have any more left. As much as I want you to live forever, I want to ask you to stay. I know you won't. I know you can't. But, I know there is a handsome young German man waiting for you on the other side when you decide its time to leave.
Hartlik Lückwunsch to dien Gebursdaag!
I love you all the way from Switzerland.
Your news lady,
PS. I'm sorry I used the word "ass." Please don't find a way to yell at me.
PPS. And Oma, we're doing okay.