So I was cleaning out my storage lately, as since I moved I can store stuff here at my place. I decided to throw out a bunch of pictures as well as old letters and things like that. It is a new year, and I strongly believe in the saying that you can't make room for new things to come in your life if you are still holding on to people and memories from the past. So in a nutshell, I've decided to toss things from people I am no longer in touch with and keep letters from my family and close friends.
So I was going through a box of pictures, and in it, I found a picture with my Oma (Austrian grandma) and I in front of Zauner, a famous Austrian confectionary. That picture is also real special to me because I was in my traditional Austrian dress, a Dirndl kleid that she bought for me. I still have it in my closet.
I forgot I had pictures of her and I together. Oma was and is someone I love and miss very much. She had a bittersweet ending because she died instantly of a heart attack in 2006. It was bitter because she was only 71, seemed healthy, and we thought she had years ahead of her.
On the other hand, it was sweet because she lost my grandpa, aka the love of her life 21 years earlier. Two weeks before she passed she said that if she were going to die that she would want to go in the same manner that her husband did. She got her wish, as she died instantly of a heart attack like he did. They are buried together. I can't be mad at that. I respect that, and finally she can be with him.
She was the one that got me in touch with my cultural side. She made sure I learned German and only spoke to me in German. She was a staunchly proud Austrian. I love learning foreign languages. I equate someone helping me learn another language to love. When others open up and explain foreign language concepts, it brings me back to my aunt and grandma lovingly help me learn German. After German I moved on to Spanish. Latinos/Hispanics are generally very passionate and kind, so learning Spanish has also been a wonderful experience.
She told me she wanted me to find true love, and made me promise I would invite her to my wedding. If I get married, I am dedicating it to her. She would always question me about my love life and talk about how happy she was with my grandpa. She would also tell me to make sure I learn how to properly cook, as the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I remember when she cooked for a bunch of hard working men on the Austrian alps in her apron with a huge bow in the back. After lunch they lined up to shake and kiss her hand. She then winked at me to get the point across.
Anyway, after Oma passed away, I mourned for about a week. I cried up until her funeral, but after she was buried, I put it behind me and moved on. Her funeral was so beautiful. Her casket was carried draped in flowers and carried along to Mozart, with the Austrian hills in the background. I couldn't be sad or hurt anymore after that.
I miss her so much, but I am not hurting either. She continues to make her presence known to me in my life. I inherited her prized necklace and ring my grandpa saved up to buy for her, which is smokey topaz. Did I mention that topaz is my birthstone ? I remember when I first started wearing it. It was like men were drawn to me like a magnet.
I also stumble upon pictures of us while cleaning, like earlier this week. I also have her letters. Once in a while she pops up in my dreams like I saw her yesterday.
I just feel lucky that I got to thank her before she passed. She is one of those people that I just feel lucky that she was in my life and that I got to know her. She was definitely a woman I looked up to and admired. She managed to spoil me while instilling good morals. The thing she did that had the greatest impact on me was volunteer with the mentally ill. I didn't realize it at the time, but it is definitely something I look back on and admire. She would have parties for them and manage their finances. It is so easy for the wrong people to get their hands on money of the mentally handicapped. But she made sure they were in order.
Okay, that is all for now. But I am sure I will be back to talk about her more down the road.