Oma died Sunday morning, our time. She was a beautiful, strong, caring person. I loved her with all of my heart. How lucky I am to have gone to Germany and to have spent each day after school with her, sitting at the small square table, eating potatoes and later us both sitting with ice cream bars, talking about life, bringing out the scrapbooks, her laughing at me and me yelling, “Why are you laughing at me!?” and her laughing harder. I was the luckiest 16-year-old girl to be able to spend time with Oma Mi. To hear her stories from World War II. Asking her what she did for fun when she was growing up and she said, “Nichts! I was living in a war!”

How beautiful life is to have these people pop into your life and completely change how you see the world, and then they’re gone. I wondered all day on Sunday what she is doing right now, and I hope she is hugging her siblings, her parents, her grandparents.

Opa, Josa, Hiltrud, Karl-Heinz, Ann-Kathrin, Sophie, Marie, Herbert–Ich habe euch lieb.