It was so wonderful to see my family;
it felt so normal;
it was hard to believe it had been a year
and three years since we all saw my Oma last time
I journaled in the Toronto Royal Bank Plaza
where I had a long lay over before taking a GO Train to Brampton.
I felt that I was on the cusp of a lot of newness in my life.
I felt that the familiar feeling and memories of going home
and the fun times I had at home when I was on holiday from
my studies in my Undergraduate years,
which are now 8 years past,
were really gone but yet I could remember them like they
It was like I was realizing in a new way
that I really was where I am now:
nearing 35 years old
parents nearing or over 60 years old
and about to see my Oma
who was getting more out of breath
at 102 years old.
It was so good to be back;
I thought I heard my Aunt's voice the minute I entered the 4 tall towered
apartment complex of Holland Christian Home
but no, it was just that I was hearing voices of
other older Dutch Canadians
and it sounded like home.
I love Ontario and the Dutch communities and pockets of
now older immigrants from Holland
many of who came after World War II,
like my Mother's family.
We visited with my Oma
and as my cousin and I were walking to her room,
we had such a nice talk and I felt so
I showed my Oma lots of pictures on my computer
including pictures of me and my
My other siblings showed her pictures as well
and I took pictures of them
showing the pictures.
My Oma did not want us to leave
but it was time for the nurses to get her ready for bed.
Earlier that day Oma had a really bad spell
where she was pale and really short of breath.
So we all said goodnight,
in Dutch, English and Romanian and kissed her goodnight.
We went back to my Aunt's apartment in the same
complex, a tower or two over
and my cousin's boy and she played songs for us
on the piano and guitar.
We talked and enjoyed being together,
remembering the past, talking about Oma,
eating a Dutch dessert and some Koek,
which is a Dutch spice bread.
Before we knew it 10 pm had come and I and others
went to bed,
my cousin and her boy had already left for home
an hour drive away
and I did my prayers and prepared for bed.
Then suddenly everything changed.