Today I give thanks for my loving grandmother, Oma. This is the anniversary of her passing 24 years ago. Ordinarily, I would rather celebrate her birthday, but I have been thinking about her all day. It seems fitting to be thankful for the woman who was more generous of heart and spirit than anyone I’ve ever known. She introduced me to Reader’s Digest vocabulary builders and her recipes (like her delicious congealed salad, which I make every Thanksgiving and Christmas). My sister and I performed more song-and-dance numbers in her living room than you see on Glee. Think the entire Annie musical and songs like Flashdance and Footloose-oh boy! Thankfully no cell phones back then. My memory of her pronunciation of the word “beautiful” (Bee-You-Ti-Ful) spreads a silent smile and simultaneously evokes a small tear.
One final story: while vacationing at Lake Lure, our pontoon boat suddenly stopped. While my dad struggled to fix it, another boat approached to help. Seeing that they had a son about my age, my Oma shouts, “Sherry, show yourself!” We all broke down in laughter!
Oma, the personification of grace and poise and true Christian love-I couldn’t have had a better role model. If I could only be a fraction of the woman you were, it would be a life well lived.