“You see how your Mom is with your son?” my aunt message me from Kupang the other day.
“Yes…” I replied
“That’s how your Oma* was with you. You are her first born granddaughter. You are her favorite.”
And with that the water flow started again.
To hear that I am her favorite out of 15 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren just squeezed my heart. I wish I could just hug her one more time and tell her how much I love her.
I never know this.
Growing up, we have always lived far away from families. Whenever they visited us we would all get spoiled rotten, except for my other Grandma who passed away last year. Our families are widely spread around Indonesia but we keep in touch by phones and whenever we can, we will visit one another.
I remember admiring how well dressed my grandma is. How poised she was. How her hugs always warms me tightly. How her secret pineapple filling cookies are super delicious. I can still smell the sweet smell of them baking in my mom’s oven. No one can recreate her cookies.
My grandma wasn’t famous for her cooking because she got lucky, my grandpa loved to cook! She’s not a bad cook because she can really whip out some mean delicious meals but she’s blessed with my grandpa. My grandpa who passed away 14 years ago.
I may not remember much about her from my early childhood but I do remember her embrace…her cuddles…how soft she feels when she hold me.
Now I’m wondering if her tears when she hold me that time was fated. She cried holding me tightly mumbling something away that I can’t comprehend. Stroke from over two years ago caused her speech to be sometimes hard to understand.
She asked to come to Jakarta…
Maybe she wanted to meet my son, to meet my brothers…
My grandma passed away last Friday.
Her passing was fast, a smooth one. She was hospitalized for a day. My mother got to talked to her on the phone from her hospital bed and my grandma laughed showing signs that she’s improved. Last Friday, while my mother and I waited for my father’s arrival at the airport she got a called from my uncle. My grandma had lost consciousness.
Ten minutes later just right after my father got to sit down with us where we waited by a small café. My mom’s phone rang.
“She’s gone…” my mother’s tears fell and as if on cue, so was mine.
My grandma was buried on Sunday, right next to my aunt’s grave. How I wish I could’ve been there for her funeral but I know deep in my heart that she knows we love her and we will miss her deeply.
Rest in peace, Oma…you are so loved by all of us. I will keep the memories of your love safely in my heart forever. We had lost our last grandparents but she will surely lives in our hearts. Never forgotten.*Oma = Dutch word for grandmother.