I shared the photos sent from my father’s side of my family with my only cousin and aunt from my mother’s side of the family.
My mother’s mother was in several shots.
We have built up a wealth of mythology about our Oma (German for nanna). She definitely was a classic. A unique woman, she had an illegitimate child (possibly half Jewish) before the war and then married and had my uncle (now deceased) and my mother. My mother has written here how Oma made their experiences seem like an adventure and made sure they did not go without.
Oma moved to Australia as a divorced woman in her 50s without any English. She gained employment. She learnt English and ended up able to do crosswords in German and English. She was fiercely independent.
Now, with the photos we’ve discovered a new trait. And given her a new nickname. A nickname that couldn’t come in time. There are now so many Omas in our family. My mother. My aunt. My cousin. My sister. All Omas now.
The nickname came as a result of the poses she pulled in the photos with the English family.
Here she is. Classic Kardashian pout, in her colour coordinated outfit. She wouldn’t let the Pommie family outshine her.
Then my aunt and mother shared the story of my sister’s christening. At that time in Australia women still had to wear a hat to church. So Oma went out and bought a hat. Of course it had to be a hat bigger than anyone else’s. Of course she had to outshine the English. A tall, white hat. A look-at-me hat.