While back in Edmonton this week, I had the wonderful fortune of placing my laptop complete with webcam into the lap of my Oma. It was a precious moment as she saw herself appear on the screen in front of her and began to have a conversation with us. Magic happened as she looked herself in the eye and soon had Mom and I in stitches of laughter with her candor about growing old. When I call her on the phone, Oma and I frequently talk about how she came to be 93 and her secrets of a long life. Oh the technological changes she has seen over her lifetime!
Just last week when I called Oma to let her know I was coming to Edmonton, we had a conversation that went slightly like this: “Oma, how you doing?” She replied, “Oh each day is like the other, my fire is burning low.” I offered, “Perhaps I should bring you some kindling.” She answered, “You could bring me a nice young man.” I chuckled and said, “I’ll keep my eyes open on the plane.” So imagine my delight when I was able to capture and bring one of these amazing “Oma moments” to a wider audience. The real magic starts about a minute in…so be patient and watch until at least then!
As you might recall, I named my last attempt on Mount Everest, “Mountain of Learning.” I decided to climb the mountain in tribute to my Oma–to recognize and honour her legacy and her lifelong love of learning. Along with climbing the mountain, I committed to raise funds for a student award at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
It was thrilling to present the inaugural award to a group of six students just before leaving for Edmonton. This group of six co-operative education students embraced their personal Everests while making a huge difference in the lives of children with disabilities at an Easter Seals camp. My heart soared as they gathered at the front of the room and instantly formed a group hug–they supported each other through the hardest and best times on their mountains and the award brought them back together again.
I’m thrilled to have this video to share with those students who so deeply demonstrated Oma’s love of life, her generosity, and her ability to laugh through hard times. I want them to meet the woman who has been so instrumental to my life.