this week we heard the heartbreaking news that my lovely oumie (grandmother in afrikaans) passed away. oumie was an incredible woman in every way. after struggling with her health growing up and being told she would never be able to have children, she proved those doctors wrong with seven healthy children - including my dad. 
apart from raising a family of seven she somehow managed to serve in a number of church callings, worked in social services, opened her own practice and volunteered for a number of organizations. she blessed the lives of so many whom she served and will be missed dearly by all of them. especially by her sweetheart since seventeen (my oupa), all 7 children, 21 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. my dad put together this sweet website to commemorate her life/passing. she was a genuine woman, beautiful both inside and out.
although my family moved from south africa to the u.s. when i was only two years old and most of my dad's family (including oumie and oupa) moved to australia when i was about nine years old, i always felt the love of my oumie from continents away. as a child we received at least one handwritten letter every week from oumie and oupa and i always looked forward to every sunday when we would read it and write them a return letter. on special occasions we received recorded tapes and i would cling to every word from my loving grandparents. as technology evolved and calling internationally became easier and more accessible we spoke on the phone with them often. they never forgot about their american grandchildren and always took the time to make us feel loved and special. they visited the u.s. and we visited south africa then australia as often as possible and the memories i have of my dear, kind oumie will last with me forever.
oumie was my namesake (lilian) and will always be one of my greatest role models. i find comfort in knowing that she is in a much better place now - no longer burdened with the ills of a physical body. love you forever oumie. i will miss you until we meet again.