Today I want to talk about my grandmother, my Oma.
Oma is turning eighty-five today. She has seen so many things in eighty-five years: She was born at the dawn of the Third Reich era, experienced the horrors of WWII, was separated from her father for a long time because of war captivity, was separated from her family for an even longer time because of the division of Germany and witnessed many important events we read about in history books today.
Oma is generous, funny, and smart. She has always been multi-talented, but as she has now entered a new stage in her life in a retirement home, she continues to amaze me with her newly found passions, ambitions, and zest for life.
On my recent visit to Oma (and Opa), I took the opportunity to ask her twenty questions I have never asked her before.
20 Words of Wisdom with Oma
Tea or coffee?
Sunset or sunrise?
Bungee jumping or skydiving?
Dogs or cats?
City or country?
Favorite birthday ever?
Most important characteristic?
Who was your first kiss?
What is the secret to a long lasting marriage? (Oma + Opa = 58 years)
What would you major in now at university?
If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be?
What is your most precious material possession?
What should always be in my pantry?
Which nickname you ever got was your favorite?
big girl (Oma is really short)
What do you think the world needs?
How would you summarize your life?
ragrets regrets (*edit by the author)
Oma has lived eighty-five years on this earth. She has done a lot, seen a lot, said a lot, discussed a lot, and cooked a lot of good food.
Old people are often seen as a burden in today’s society. They are from a different age and may be more conversative and part of a different belief system. But they are also people, people full of wisdom and experience.
I used to work at a retirement home. One resident once said to me: “Isn’t it cool, how this house is made out of so many stories?” Our grandpartents are people full of stories who won’t be with us forever. So, dare to ask your grandparents for all those stories.
Ask them. That’s what most people forget to do anyways nowadays.