Monday

Memoir

For those of you that were not able to attend the funeral, below were the Words of Remembrance I gave about my Oma...

"I was Oma’s youngest grandchild, although she had many great and great-great grandchildren after me. But ever since I was a little girl, I was always my Opa and Oma’s “princess”. Treated like a princess, they dotted me with lavish gifts. I especially remember receiving from Oma my gold baby ring - which I once lost in the grass at the park across the street from the de Man’s home, luckily it was found. And also I remember my child-size gold bracelet she gave me that I wore for years before having to get it cut off at my first soccer game match. Both the ring and bracelet have been handed down to my own daughter (another little girl most affectionately given the name “princess” by Oma). Madeline has worn the bracelet now for almost 5 years never taking it off.

I can remember way back when my parents would drive my brothers and I out to Hollywood to visit Oma and Opa in their apartment. Opa with his flashy rings on his fingers would play his piano as my Oma would accompany him on the microphone. She was always dolled up in her stylish hair wigs wearing false eyelashes. She loved to sing. My funny husband will be able to remind me that of her, as he is pretty good at voice impersonations and he’s got my Oma and my Dad down pat. He does a pretty good impersonation of Oma singing Copa Cabana.

Later when my parents moved Oma and Opa to their home in Rialto, we would continue to visit on the weekends. We would have dinner parties there eating off of their gold plated dish and silverware – Oma loved gold things. I remember always going through their home looking at all their unique Dutch and Indonesian d├ęcor, and of course admiring their artwork on their walls…many painted by her. Besides being a nurse my Oma was an artist. And I am happy to have inherited that trait from her.

In recent years when she moved in with my parents after Opa passed, she amazed many with her spunk, great memory with names and mobility in her old age. She kept her driver’s license into her late 80’s and often liked to drive to the mall to window shop and people watch for hours. She even went on a few road trips with my parents, visiting my family twice in Southern Oregon. On one of the trips we even took her on a jet-boat excursion touring the wild and scenic Rogue River. I believe she was the eldest passenger on the boat, she really enjoyed it…chanting with the other passengers to go faster and get wet.

When she stopped traveling in the past 2 years it was always a treat for me to come and visit her, and have my children spend time with their Omi. A huge celebration was in order when she turned 90 a year and a half ago. So of course we had to fly out for it.

My Oma was adored by many family and friends. She always kept up with her correspondences, writing with her lovely scrolling penmanship. And every time she saw a loved one, she always greeted you with her “Oma Kisses” which were kisses on the cheeks accompanied with a sniff from her nose.

It’s because of all the things I spoke of her today that she lived a life full of love, walking in the ways of our Lord touching the lives who surrounded her. She will be missed tremendously. May you rest in peace now Oma with our Lord. I love you."

Funeral Mass

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