One week ago Markus’ Oma, Rebecca and Annie’s Uroma, passed away. Oma Maria was 93. She raised Markus until he was 14, so he was very, very close to her.
Oma has felt quite done with her life for the past few years. Then her daughter, who was 70, died from cancer last year, and that was just too much. As much as the family will miss her dearly, everyone feels thankful that her wish to die very peacefully at home in her sleep was fulfilled.
I never spoke enough German to really have a deep conversation with her, but Markus’ stories about her indicate that she was a very feisty woman. She had close friendships and people she couldn’t stand and even those she kicked out of the house.
During WWII Maria worked as a waitress to support herself and her family. The city’s airstrike sirens would often be sounded, but usually they were ignored. One afternoon, the owner of the restaurant decided to send his staff down to the cellar upon hearing the all-too-familiar wail. A bomb destroyed the cafe, but Maria and the rest of the staff escaped unharmed. Strange to think that there would be no Markus if that instinct had been ignored.
Rebecca spent quite a bit of time visiting Uroma whenever she was in Austria and is very sad she is gone. Annie remembers and talks about her as well.
Markus’ father, Franz, says sifting through her papers has been interesting. She has the birth and death certificates of both her husbands, as well as the document the Nazi’s required showing 8 generations of Aryan ancestors.
There is no denying that she had a very interesting life and knew many people who loved her and cared about her deeply. We can all only hope for the same.