Thank God I am home again. I had a nice trip; it was really good to see my Oma. She is still knitting, and at 99 that is pretty good. I know that she will not always be alive, which is hard. It was reassuring to see everything still the same; other than that everyone keeps getting older.
I saw my parents, more aunts and uncles, my Oma. I was surrounded by people speaking Dutch; it was wonderful, even though i do not know the language. I grew up visiting my Opa and Oma and it is almost second nature to be around people speaking in more than one language.
And I saw a lot of pictures in the hallways, and a lot of beautiful things.
It is strange always now, though not to see Icons.
but I saw many other signs of God's kingdom in the faithfulness of my Oma's people.
and, on smaller notes, the tea pot, sugar and creamer that I got from my Grandma (not to be confused with my Oma) over Christmas are now with me; my parents brought them up, with a silver mirrored tray that I bought at an antique store when antiquing with my Grandma. They are adorning one of my bookshelves and that is lovely.
I have been thinking about identity and what we surround ourselves with. I am the type that surrounds myself with things that are linked to my family and friends. I do not have the minimalist IKEA-only apartment. I have IKEA things along side of family dishes, pictures, knitted things from my Oma, and Icons from my various Orthodox churches and from the monastery that I love in Michigan. To me these things show and tell me where I am from; my Church, my family. And to me having things I bought with my sister, Grandma and Mother; or slippers, scarves, mittens, and tea cozies from my Oma, is like being surrounded with their love. and it shows me that others think of me, that I am remembered.
How I wish Protestants knew that we can pray for those who have died! when we, Orthodox, says Memory Eternal, we are praying for God to remember the person who has died. It is such a comfort that someday, if my Oma dies before me (the statistical view would be this way) the grief will be real, but I have been given a great comfort in the church, to pray for her and to have a service for her.