January was our last month in North America and saw our arrival in New Zealand. There was a little running around with a business meeting in Texas, wine work in California, and I was able to squeeze in one last visit with Oma. This was especially precious for me. At the age of 101, Oma has passed as gracefully as she lived.
Oma taught me all the names of the wildflowers up in the Sierra where we camp. She instilled in me a love for God. She was an example of kindness, steadfastness, and had a powerful, yet quiet strength. Oma taught us all so many beautiful camp songs and some funny ones too. She showed us her favorite hikes. She will be remembered saying things like, “I used to climb the peaks, and now I walk the valleys.” She was an educated naturalist, and even in her later years was memorizing the Latin names for plants she loved. Oma was a wonderful mother who inspired immense love from her children and their spouses. She was an amazing Grandmother, blending that strength with love and received quick obedience, respect, and love in return. She had a fabulous sense of humor and could cut to the chase and drill down to the important fact in any conversation.
Oma was so many things to so many people throughout her amazing life. To me, she will always be my Oma, and I will always love her, and now I shall miss her. I can only hope that I will carry a little bit of her forward and live in a way that she would be proud of.