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Grandmother Trudy K.B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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There have been several special people in my life. One was my Oma. “Oma” is German for grandmother. I would like to share with you some of my fondest memories of her.

Thinking back, I remember what she looked like. She was strong, kind, athletic, and tall. When I say tall, I mean really tall. I remember when she would come over I would run to the door and jump on a chair, then stretch my arms up to her, and she would bend way down and give me a hug and kiss.

Oma was also very athletic. She loved to bowl, play ping-pong, and ­exercise. Her love of sports led her to join the Senior Olympics, in which she participated for many years all over the country. She won many gold, silver, and bronze medals, which are now mine.

The last summer I remember Oma was in 2003. We were in Florida on the beach when she said she felt funny, so she went back home and saw her doctor. After some tests he told her that she had leukemia.

Oma was told she had six days to live. With ­determination and courage, she decided to fight the disease until the very end. My mom and Oma went to Memphis and stayed at Baptist Memorial Hospital for four months. I went to visit her whenever I could, and she would let me crawl into bed with her. Even with her chemo she never complained, no matter how much pain she was in.

Oma made many friends while she was in the hospital. She was so friendly and kind to everyone, from the doctors to the nurses to the custodians.

When it became apparent that the doctors could not cure her, they sent her home. Oma came to live with us for the last five months of her life. During this time I was able to spend a lot of time with her. She would even help me with my homework. Oma had been a teacher for many years and said that my third-grade homework was so hard she would have given it to her sixth graders.

There were many difficult days during those last months of Oma’s life. I saw her pain every day, but she never complained. She always encouraged me to be a good student. Oma wanted the best for me, and I always strive to do my best every day of my life.

Oma survived the long winter, and finally, when spring arrived, she was happy to see it and enjoyed a few days outside in her wheelchair soaking up the warm sunshine. I remember one day lying on the deck next to Oma’s wheelchair. I was reading a good book while she rested. This was one of our last moments together.

During the weeks that the buttercups began to bloom and fade, Oma’s health faded too. She said to my mom one beautiful day that she felt she could not go on much longer. My mom realized that the time was near, and she took Oma to the hospital. When I went to visit her, she had been there for several days and had spoken to no one. I was very excited to see her, and I ran in her room and shouted, “I love you, Oma!” She turned her head, opened her eyes, and said, “I love you, sweetheart.” Then she closed her eyes. These were the last words she spoke. A few days later, Oma died. It was the day before Mother’s Day.

Oma’s legacy to me is to never give up. She was the strongest person I have ever known. Whenever I feel like giving up, I think of Oma and everything she went through. The doctors gave her six days to live, and she stretched it to nine months with her determination and courage. I will always remember Oma with much love and admiration. She was my Oma. I am her legacy.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 14 comments. Post your own!

AprilBlue said...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm:
Omg omg omg omg i have an Oma, too! This brought me near tears, especially at the end. I am on of about 32 grandchildren so I tend to talk to my grandma, not Oma, but still. She was a teacher, too.
 
Kelly C. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 31, 2010 at 6:13 pm :
Thank you so much, i miss her and her wonderful german accent.
 
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googlemee;) said...
Mar. 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm:
this is such a great story i love iti to death and just wish i could meet the author :D:D:D:D:D:D:D
 
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jennyr.<33 said...
Feb. 20, 2009 at 11:09 pm:
Aw, i love this story, and it made me cry. I know the author, and she is a wonderful true friend. This story blew me away. I LOVE YOU KELLY[author]
 
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zoeyiskwel said...
Feb. 20, 2009 at 3:41 am:
this is soo great i love it you did a great job writing this you made me cry i love it have they out this in the magizine yet if they have i want a copy of the magazie please!!! love it!! good job (:
 
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misty123 said...
Dec. 2, 2008 at 2:08 am:
This was a great story. I couldn't be more proud of my cousin! It is a blessing that you will be able to remember her in such a wonderful way. Your story is really great!!!
 
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aubrey_the_author said...
Nov. 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm:
I thought this was a great story! My grandmother just recently died (in June) and this really reminded me of her. I used to have an Oma, but I never met her. She was actually my dad's grandmother. Nice work, though you have only a few mistakes. Bravo!
 
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slayer123 said...
Nov. 17, 2008 at 9:04 pm:
This is one of the best storys I have ever heard. It reminds me of my granny before she died. You wrote a really good story.
 
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kellylittlebit said...
Nov. 17, 2008 at 8:55 pm:
you rock this is an awesome story!!
 
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SwEbBy #3:) said...
Nov. 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm:
lover this story you are to cool and too sweet to write somethng about you grandmother way to be strong girly ******** :}
 
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Kaye1018 said...
Nov. 15, 2008 at 2:44 pm:
This is such a tear jerking story! It's very sweet and I'm glad you got to be with your Oma for so long after what the doctor's said. You really made me appreciate my grandmother! I think I might go hug her right now! :]
 
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Ms. Elaine said...
Nov. 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm:
As a former classroom teacher myself, I can appreciate the writing level of this 8th grader. Although there are errors here and there, I couldn't "red pen" this one too bad because of the wonderful metaphor near the end. Her grandmother's life is compared wonderfully to a buttercup blooming and fading. I'm also proud of her because she's my step-daughter! You go, Kelly!
 
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Angie R said...
Nov. 14, 2008 at 2:42 am:
What a beautiful testimony of love for your Oma! She would be so proud of you for allowing her guidance to help you remain strong! I am very proud that you will never give up and always give anything you try your very best for the legacy of your Oma!
 
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chesneyb:D said...
Nov. 13, 2008 at 9:04 pm:
that is a great story and the author is beautiful!!! ive meet her
 
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