Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Oma!

Today would have been Oma's 90th birthday here on the earth but I'm sure she is happy to be celebrating in heaven! She was born in 1916 in Bedum, The Netherlands, to Reinder & Trientje Zijl and came to the US when she was about 35. She became a widow at about my age (43) wow, and lived the whole 2nd half of her life as a widow. She owned a motel which was later flattened by a tornado, and then she lived in Florida for about 20 years. Her family was her life!

Mom at Ralph's

It was so much fun to go see her in Florida and she was always so excited to see us. I think that's where I learned to love little routines. She would make so much fun of them - whether it was going to Publix or having her pill parties with Swiss Miss pudding or watching the traffic go by. She had such a touchy digestive system and she ALWAYS worried about mine. I remember how she used to go on & on about how she liked brussel sprouts but she would feel miserable if she ate them.

And she had some great ways of saying things like they really were. She could have been the one who originated the saying, "If you aren't Dutch, you aren't much." For instance, she warned John before we got married that I was only 1/2 Dutch and she said it was so sad how that gets diluted. And one time when she was lamenting the fact that she had ever left the Netherlands, my mom reminded her that her 2 sons would never have met her & Aunt Michaela, and she sighed, "There would have been others..."

Mom knitting
And she was the best knitter I have ever known!


AirForceFun said...

Very touching. Makes me miss my grandma. It's been years now since she died. What's sad is that grandpa is still alive but I still don't get many oportunities to visit him...

Sister Mary said...

What a nice tribute to Oma on her birthday. My favorite - "telling it like it is" comment of hers was during a Sunday meal and 2-year old Paula was carried out kicking and screaming - Again. She said - "She'll never amount to anything."
Oma definitely missed the boat on that one - our little sister is quite something to be proud of!

Andrea said...

I had a vanilla swiss miss pudding last night and thought of Oma, while I was thinking of her I proceded to do the "oma double-eyed-wink" and chuckled to myself. She is having a wonderful time in "The Kingdom", I'm sure of that.

Jewels said...

Oh yes Andrea! Your comment made me laugh out loud. The double eyed wink and the Kingdom!