My sweet Omi passed away on Tuesday, the 21st. She was diagnosed with Lung Cancer over two years ago and she endured it with a smile right up until the end.
Omi lived in Oregon by my family but she and Opi were in St. George visiting my aunt Christine. One night, close to 2 weeks ago she was struggling to breathe so she was admitted to the hospital. My mom called to tell me that she was in the hospital and I called her that night to tell her how much I love her and that Mason, Cooper and I would be coming that weekend to visit her. As soon as Omi picked up the phone and I heard how difficult it was for her to breathe I could not stop the tears from coming. Omi could tell that I was crying and she said, “Jessica, promise me something. Promise me that you are smiling.” This made me smile and laugh a little through my tears. I think this is such a perfect example of how Omi lived her whole life, always with a smile on her face grateful for whatever life brought her, helping all those around her to see the brighter side of things.
My mom flew in from Oregon late Friday the 17th, she drove with Mason, Cooper and I to St. George. Isabelle, Laurel, Heather, Lizzy & her baby Andy, drove from Arizona. We got to spend Saturday and Sunday with Omi in the hospital. We shared some precious experiences with Omi that I will cherish forever. Looking back now it is amazing to me how well Omi seemed only two days before she took her last breaths, she insisted she felt no pain, and that her cough was just from being in Utah, she was beautiful, holding our hands, singing to us, telling us stories from the war, sharing her favorite scriptures and assuring each of us that she would be with us still even after she passed, she said that she would be our guardian angel.
On Saturday when we were in the hospital, my cousin Lizzy was standing next to Omi holding her 3-month-old baby Andy, he was really fussy. Omi asked to hold him and as soon as Lizzy handed him to Omi he went silent and just laid there in her arms. It was so sweet, and it reminded me of a similar experience when Cooper was a newborn baby. Our friend Josh, who was 15, visited us right after Cooper was born. Cooper was really fussy and I couldn’t get him to calm down, Josh asked to hold him and Cooper just stopped. Soon after that Joshy died of cancer. I think that babies can sense the spirits of people who are about to pass because they are so close to the veil and it feels like their heavenly home for the babies when they are held by them.
We got home from St. George late Sunday night. Omi was allowed to go home to Christine’s house with hospice care Monday evening. We were told that she did not have much time left. So my Mom, Cooper and I hopped in the car Tuesday morning in hopes that we could give her one last hug but we were a few hours too late. Omi closed her eyes Monday night and did not open them again, she drew her last breath around 11:15 Tuesday morning in her sleep with Opi by her side. That’s how she always said she wanted to pass, in her sleep. We are grateful that in the end she was taken quickly and peacefully.
I am so grateful for Omi and the wonderful example she has always been in my life. I’ve always known how much she loves the Lord and His gospel, always willing to do His will, whatever it may be. She was kind and loving to all those around her and everyone felt like they were important and special to her. I pray that I can learn to be more like her and I look forward to the day that I will see her again. I Love You Omi, and I will cherish your memory forever. Ich Liebe Dich.