February 6, 2013


The other day we were Play-doh’ing (Lovie-ism) when Taye dropped a small ball of yellow Play-doh that rolled just under the stove.

“Ohhhh,” I taunted. “You’re fired!”

“Quick, mom,” Lovie chimed in. “Get the hose.”

Three is… intense. It’s awesome and amazing, but it’s also so very trying and draining at times.

But I’m beginning to truly grasp that it’s primarily the good times that will be remembered. I mean, yes, I’m pretty sure I’ll remember Lovie pissing her naked bottom while sitting in her chair because she was too darn mesmerized by the TV to sit on the stupid froggy potty chair placed right beside her, but more than that, I think I’ll remember Play-doh’ing and the urgent request to get the hose after telling her daddy he was fired because he dropped the Play-doh.

The good outweighs the bad with most memories. It must. It just must.

My grandfather’s been gone now for seven years. And what I remember most about him is his firm handshakes and hugs. His big rough hands. His bald, shiny head that sometimes sported a bandage or bruise from bumping it. His warm smile. His glasses. The fact that he had two pieces of white bread toasted every morning, slathered in butter and honey. The way he’d slam his hand down onto the table to get a point across. The time he told me to use only one square of toilet paper to avoid getting the toilet backed up. The stories he told every single time we saw him. His stubbornness.

Mostly I remember his adoration for his beloved wife—my Oma.

He was a strict man who believed what he believed and couldn’t really understand how others believed differently. But he was amazing. And strong. Yet gentle and warm. Especially with my grandmother.

Oma’s eyes were flooded following Ota’s passing. All of our eyes and hearts were. He passed away after waving to Oma on his way to bed when he tripped, fell to the floor, and hit his head against the corner of the wood bed frame. Just like that he was gone. There was no warning other than him telling my mom one week prior to his death that he was happy she moved in so that Oma wouldn’t be alone. One minute he was Ota, strong and sturdy and opinionated. The next minute, he was just gone.

Oma, on the other hand, is slowly dying.

I try to visit once a week now and every time I do, it gets harder and harder to watch. She’s pretty much starving and drowning to death thanks to Congestive Heart Failure, no appetite, and wanting to die. She’ll be 89 in May and she’s lived a long life, she’ll tell you. But she’s tired.

Right now all I can think about is her current state of life when I think of her. And it hurts so much to think this way. She’s so much more than skin and bones and oxygen tubes running from her person across the room to a big pumping tank of air. She’s so much more than a shaky old lady on her last leg.

She’s art, she’s beauty, she’s woman, she’s amazing and good.

I pray that once she finally passes and finds peace, my memories will be full of the wonderful times I’ve had with her. The hot chocolate she’d make us kids when we visited after allowing us to choose which Disney cup we wanted to drink from. The honey butter toast she’d serve us on mornings after we slept over. The schnitzel. The sparkle in her eye. The most adorable smile which will live through in my Lovie.

I know I’ll remember the good because she was just SO good, but right now it’s just incredibly difficult.

But that’s Life sometimes.
Maybe I should bring some Play-doh with me during my next visit…

Linking up with the fine folks at Yeah Write.


  1. There is nothing harder than watching someone you love die. There is nothing worse than the guilt you feel wishing they would just be at peace.


    1. thanks, Lisa. i know you know. and i'm sorry for that. xoxo

  2. Oh, my heart... Many, many hugs...

  3. So sad. ((( hugs ))) I think you're right, though. In the end we remember and cherish the good. And that' something, I guess.

  4. man, i'm in tears. i so feel for you. and i so identify with this. so so so hard. i'm so sorry.

  5. Beautiful description of your family. You are lucky to have had them in your life, even if it means having trouble letting them go

  6. I'm so sorry. This is so beautiful and heartfelt. xxx

  7. I'm so sorry. The good memories will come.

  8. Oh, Christina! I feel this so much. The last time I saw my aunt/mom was a few weeks before she died. She was so small and weak and fragile. All I could think was, "Is this how I will remember her?"

    Thankfully, it's not. Instead, I see the strong, beautiful firecracker of a woman she was. And you will see your awesome Oma that way too.

    Sending you huge, heartfelt hugs.

  9. The way you connected the love for your daughter w/ the love for your parents was artfully done - the interwoven relationships transitioned smoothly and effortlessly. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into your reality. It sounds like you're a great mother w/ a fabulous daughter. And, as a father of two recently turned four year olds, I'll just say that I'm glad that the threes, as entertaining as they were at times, are behind me. The fours, so far, have been great!

  10. My grandma always talks about how it sucks being old, how tired she feels. My heart hurts for your family.

  11. I'm sorry to hear about your Oma and your Ota, but you have written a tender love note to them right here! Thank you for sharing it.

  12. Oh, I am so sorry! What a beautiful, painful tribute.

  13. I´m so sorry. Went through all this, first with my Dad, then with my Mum.
    Depression, cancer, she did´t eat anymore, had hard difficulties to breathe, oxygen masks, the whole program. I have an idea of what you´re going through right now, it´s hard.
    So hard to not really being able to help. Nearly 14 months she´s gone now, I miss her so much.
    You do help with visiting, I now know this.
    I´m wishing you strength, you have the right attitude to go through this.
    Is your Oma of German origin? Oma and Schnitzel sounds German. Or Austrian.

  14. You WILL remember the good times the most. And you'll remember them so strongly, it might hurt at first... but they last and soften the blow with time. My Papa taught me that.

  15. I'm sorry to read this about your Oma. Wishing for peace and strength for you.

  16. I"m so sorry Christina. My thoughts and hugs are with you!

  17. The good memories usually do shine through. It sounds like there will be so many of them for you that they can't help but shine through.

  18. My grandpa just passed away this Christmas of Congestive Heart Failure. He was 82 and had been so I'll for the last few years. It was draining on my grandma and whole family. I empathize with you.


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