On April 5th, 2010, my Oma (maternal grandmother) Lieselotte Kaiser~Saule Haf passed away peacefully in Augsburg, Germany...where she had lived most of her life. She joins my Opa (maternal grandfather) Adalbert Haf ~ 27 Feb 1907 ~ 9 Feb 1968 and her two sons, my uncles Helmut Haf 3 Oct. 1940 ~ 20 Dec 1994 and Adalbert Haf 3 Oct 1940 ~ 2 Oct 2004.
Oma was 96 years old and lived a good long life...she survived WWII and being separated from her daugther, my mother for one year during the heavy bombings in Augsburg, as I had explained in my post for the Give Their Face a Place, 21st Edition of Smile For the Camera.
Life was very rough at times due to the war...my Oma was a strong lady and took good care of her family. She took care of my Opa after he had been shot in the shoulder serving in the German Mountain Troops in Russia. Oma survived her two sons, Helmut and Adalbert.
I was so very close to my Oma...she was a model grandmother...always just knowing the right thing to do and when to do it. I have so many wonderful memories but the one that stands out the most: Peppermint tea...she knew I loved that German peppermint tea! If I had an upset tummy, Oma took care of me. I was born in her home, mom and I lived with her until I was about three...when we left for the United States...it was very hard seeing her daughter and granddaughter leaving.
Even though my Oma and Opa, Uncles, and cousins were all in Germany and we were here, I stayed very close to my Oma. She always sent my favorite things each Christmas. She would always include a beautiful German tablecloth or vase or tea cup set...heirlooms to be...getting me started and prepared for my own home...I do still have many of them. Each and every card, letter or note she sent to me, I kept. I am surrounded by my Oma and memories of her that will stay with me.
Oma made several trips to California...I remember one where my mom, stepfather, and I drove to New York to pick her up at JFK Airport, where she had flown in from Germany. That was a pretty exciting trip. A cousin that mom grew up with in Germany and was very close to my Oma, lived in New York at the time, it was nice for all of them to be in the same place at once.
But, the one thing that means the very most to me is...Oma had a certain look in her eye when she would look at me...I cannot explain the look...but I knew when she gave it to me, her eyes said, I love you so very much my Ginimaus, I will hold that look in my heart and never forget it. I miss her to pieces...what a very blessed granddaughter I am. Oma and Opa had nicknamed me Ginimaus, their Gini mouse!
~ Rest in Peace my dear Oma ~
Mom left for Germany on April 5th, she is there making all the arrangements along with the help of my cousin Marion and aunt Gitta. On Monday, April 12th, a small service will be held at a nearby Church. Oma will be cremated and her ashes will be sent to a mortuary here in San Diego...she will be close to me. Our family here will have a small service for her, this is what she wanted. With the exception of my cousin Marion and my aunt Gitta, everyone is now gone...she didn't want to be alone there. It's a good feeling knowing she will be here with me and our family and in no way will she be alone.
I think this will probably be the last trip mom makes back home, and I know this trip is a difficult one. Mom returns on the 15th of April. I received a phone call from her this morning...she has photos, and several documents for me that Oma had, mom sounds as if she is doing well and I am relieved for that.
The photos in the collage above, starting at the top left and going clockwise are: Oma and mom (the first two) ca. 1981, Oma, my uncle Adi, and my mom on one of the visits my mom made to Germany (not sure of date at this time) ca. 2000.
Two photos of Oma by herself.
Lower right corner: Oma and my daughter Lacie on one of Oma's visits to California...these photos were taken in my home in Stockton, CA in 1981.
Lower left: Oma and myself as a baby, and her and I on her visit to California in 1981.
Center: My Oma and Opa's wedding photo: October 22, 1932 in Augsburg, Germany.
To the left of the wedding photo, my Oma holding my uncles Helmut and Adi and my mom (bending down).
To the right of the wedding photo, my Oma and her mother, Margarete Kaiser Saule b. 22 Jul 1888 in Schmerold, Germany ~ d. 28 May 1972 in Augsburg, Bayern, Germany (year photo taken is unknown).
Photo below the wedding photo is of Oma and her family (mom is in Germany so I am unable to ask who everyone is at this time).
All originals of photos are held by Gini Webb.
This post is also being submitted for the Carnival of African-American Genealogy CoAAG : 2nd Edition: Grandma's Hands, Grandmothers and their influence on the Family, hosted by, Sandra, at I Never Knew My Father.