Beate

Beate-Caregiver

I want to use this page to tell about myself and my role as a caregiver. Here is a story I wrote as a young mother about my Oma and me, now I am an Oma myself.

For einer Minute war ich ein kleines Maedchen wie Du.
Just a Moment ago I was a little Girl like You.

Oma and I were baking a cake, I had the wooden spoon and the big bowl and she was putting in the ingredients. First the yellow butter, half melted in a pot on the coal cook stove, than the white sugar, plenty of it. “Now get it nice and fluffy,,” she said, going to her cupboard, where she had rows of bins with all kinds of stuff and which tilted for easy assess. She measured the flour and stopped at the old icebox, picking up the wire basket filled with eggs. I loved swirling the yellow egg yolks around, as she broke one after the other on the rim of the bowl.

“Oma,” I said, “did you also bake cakes when you were little like me?” “Keep on stirring,” she said and she was silent long enough, that I looked at her. She wiped her soft, large old woman hands on her apron, and than bending down to me, she touched my cheek for a moment. “Vor einer Minute war ich ein kleines Madchen, wie Du.” ” Just a moment ago, I was a little girl like you”

She said it with so much emphasis, remembering herself small like me, that a whirlwind seemed to come into my grandmothers warm kitchen and took her and me both back in time.

I saw her there in front of me with pigtails and pink cheeks, a face as unwrinkled as mine. I blinked and the spell was gone, there she was again, reaching for the flour. I had stopped stirring, still in the thrall of the experience, when something ice cold touched my heart. Just a second ago? She looked like me? Would I look like her, just a moment from now? Tears came into my eyes, I knew with a certainty the truth of it, that I would be her in just a little while. “Ja, ja, komm hier, don’t cry,” she pulled me into her warm, soft, comforting stomach, “there is nothing we can do, but lets finish this cake and you can lick out the bowl.” The thought of the sweet dough waiting for me distracted me somewhat, but the experience has stayed with me frozen in time and has appeared at different moments. Like when my daughter was born and I was holding her for the first time, counting her toes and fingers. Her hand, a tiny copy of my Grandma’s hand. I heard her voice say,

For einer Minute war ich ein kleines Maedchen wie Du! “just a moment ago, I was a little girl like you.” ( A story I wrote around 1980, remembering my Oma)

 

 

4 thoughts on “Beate-Caregiver”

  1. Beate, this story brought warm tears to my eyes as it filled me with vivid memories of my German Oma. She lived in the house next to where I grew up and her back door was always open. It was her kitchen,the cool stove, the cuboard, the tile floor… When I ran out my back door into hers I entered a different world. She always included me in whatever she was involved in when I showed up, baking, cooking, knitting. What a way of ‘being’ with each other! Then it felt natural and fun, now it feels special and rich.

  2. Hello Beate

    Your story is beautiful and so moving! I know this to be true, we have recently had our first child and I can just feel my life going so quickly at the moment. It feels so wise what your oma told you as a girl. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, and the story of your partners recovery.

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