Last night I looked down at my feet and thought "Huh, hi Oma." This only because my feet had swollen into melony-grapefruit sized pudgy, Oompa Lumpa feet because the New Zealand sun spanked my ass on Sunday and gave me one hell of a burn. And my feet; well at this point they look EXACTLY like my grandmother's feet from a distant far off memory when I was five.
It is odd and strange and nostalgically wonderful and really sad as in a "I am never getting a date with a cute man ever again in my life" way as well.
My memories of my Oma sometimes make me cry. I miss that Oma so much.
The Oma that would stand with her hands on her hips, her palms folded to the back and look at you with that look that could make you do just about anything she said to do. Getting this Oma mad and breaking the rules was never a smart thing to do.
The Oma that gave wonderful and powerful and protective hugs so deep and hard that when you pressed your face into her neck you felt like there was no other place in the world that you would rather be.
The Oma that patiently taught me how to crochet a little shirt for my bear and when I was done made such a big deal out of my little accomplishment that I thought for ten seconds that I really was the greatest kid in the whole world.
The Oma that always followed up accomplishments and good behavior with cherry pie or anglefood cake with fresh strawberries and coffee. And I was ALWAYS served my own portion of coffee. This made my good dead TOTALLY worth it.
The Oma that trusted us to get the mail in the morning, put the garbage out at night, sit in Opa's study quietly, run around at the park, sit in the front seat and behave and eat a meal in a restaurant with good manners. I think that is one of the memories that I cherish the most. No matter what, she always excepted that she could trust us and therefore we never wanted to let her down.
And of course I did let her down when I was nineteen. Or perhaps she let me down too. I don't really remember or know how it had culminated and spiraled out of control until we no longer liked each other. Perhaps it was the expectation that our worlds and therefore our role within our relationship would always be the same. Somehow, I don't think that my Oma ever expected me to have an opinion. Which I find funny, because I was one hell of an opinionated kid. And when I did have a grown up opinion, somehow I think that I expected her to be open to it and respect it. Which she wasn't.
Over the years I have thought about picking up the phone to make the attempt to have a conversation with her. But I have also seen what other's have gone through in trying to patch up their relationships with my Oma. She is one hell of a stubborn women and is not so good at the giving of the second chances. So I never tried. I have always been afraid that the sharp tongue that will meet the other end of my apology would be far more than I can handle.
I have preferred to have an Oma in my memories instead. I know for a fact that she will never meet me halfway. I know that she will never hear anything that I have to say. And so I live with an Oma everyday in my own way. Like, looking down at my swollen feet and thinking "Huh, so I have a bit of her in me afterall.".