Last weekend wasn’t all about giraffes, it was about family and seeing the ones we love (though I really, really love giraffes too). We saw cousins, aunts & uncles but most importantly I got to see my Oma! In case you are new to our site, new to my babbling, my Oma is 97 and my hero.
Every time we go, I expect my kids, or even my husband, to grumble about going to the “old folks home”. They never do. This time I figured out why. I thought only I felt the special connection with my Oma. I thought that because I’ve talked to her my whole life that now, that she is without speech, only I could still talk to her. It turns out, while I do have a special connection with her, I’m not alone. My whole family feels it too. My whole family can talk to her too. She may be without speech, but she is not without communication.
Her home is amazing, a beautiful, modern dutch facility on spacious grounds, her room is in an enclosed “cottage” within a larger building. Every time just me & Dino, sometimes Tess too, go and pick her up. During the day she is always in the dining room or living room. It’s not very big, not small, just cozy, and all of us going in feels like an invasion. So it’s just me and little ones. This time I woke her up.
I could see she was mad about being woke up, and seeing me wasn’t good enough. Then she saw Dane & lit up. I couldn’t get her out of there fast enough. As soon as we got out into the main building I stopped her chair, pulled off the tray and plopped Dino on her lap. She just beamed and held him tight.
Dave and Cole had grabbed a table for us to drink coffee & eat apple cake & saucijzenbroodjes (a dutch sausage bread). Oma was NOT happy to see Cole with his long hair, but rather than reprimand him, I got an earful. She may not talk but I heard her loud & clear, as both Dave and Cole cracked up to see me getting scolded. I think nothing makes anyone in my family happier than to see me get into trouble, rather than being the one getting everyone else in trouble.
While Dane, at almost five, is perfectly capable of feeding himself, Oma helped him drink his cassis (a red currant soda that is my absolute favorite). She steadfastly held his elbow as he drank, quietly ensuring he finish his glass in one go rather than sip slowly. It’s good I knew this and poured him little or poor Dino would’ve struggled a little. As it was, with her insisting I refill his glass frequently, he drank enough to need a bathroom every 15 minutes for the next hour or two.
We talked and laughed, and I held and kissed her, all morning. Too soon I saw her getting tired, I wasn’t ready to stop the visit, and I could see her frustration as well, I knew she wasn’t ready either, but I know I can’t wear her out. She held Dane close for a last hug and kiss, the tears already in her eyes. Then I took him out of her arms, tears in my eyes because I knew she wanted to hold him forever. And I held and kissed her too, I could feel her melting into me wishing me to stay. There is nothing I wanted more than to stay.