Marie Flocken is my Mother-in-Law. The Mother of the man I love most in this world. Her gift to me is immeasurable, and I will always appreciate.
The pictures above are a picture of Marie and Herman during their courtship, having car trouble in the early 30's, a Picture of The Flocken Family at Breakfast in the mid 50's and a Picture of her meeting our first Grandchild, Maddy, in the fall of 1999.
Until a month after her 89th birthday, Marie lived a full life; always busy cooking her amazing soups, potato salads, turkeys.. oh I can still taste the Potato Pancakes mixed with Applesauce as Scott and I ate as fast as we could, watching the other to be sure we did not take TOO much from that magnificent stack of Potato Pancakes. I will note here that despite many attempts on my part to get her recipe, it was always just a little different than the way she prepared it. She was the caregiver for my children for most of each year while they were young. I have countless memories of driving up to her house each morning in the spring and summer. The sun was usually behind her so I saw only her shadow as she held up a dozen or so Roses for me to take with me to work. Marie had nearly 100 Rose Bushes and she kept busy each day keeping them pruned and beautiful. She also took great pride in her vegetable garden. Including her eggplant, which I don't like. She cooked a great Eggplant Parmesan, so I was told, and could never understand why I wouldn't eat it.. "Why? I made it! It's delicious" Her beloved Herme (Herman) had passed in 1980 and Marie missed him everyday. She stayed busy though and traveled to Germany a couple of times, as well as Northern CA and New Jersey where her three daughters lived.
When she had a heart attack in the Spring of 1997, her life changed forever and she could no longer stay in her home. I was with Marie that day. I'd stopped to pick her up to drive out with me and spend the evening with us in Murrieta, some 30 miles away. As we pulled out of the driveway she put her hand to her chest. I asked her what was wrong, was she ok? Should we go to the hospital. She waved me off as only Marie could do and said NO. I don't need a hospital. As we drove down her street we began arguing - something we did a lot.. I was in the middle of telling her we were NOT driving down that 15 freeway if she was having chest pains; when her head slumped against me in the front seat and her breathing stopped. I learned that moment in my early forties how fast life could change. I learned it in a most profound way. I was able to get her to a store parking lot where the owners got help. Marie survived that day but things changed for her then. Her memory was never very good after that and she could never stay alone in her beloved home again. I don't remember the laughter in her eyes after that day.
Nearly four years later, Marie passed, surrounded by her family in a Northern CA hospital.
I think of you nearly every day Oma, and I miss you. I've caught myself repeating many of your comments over the years. Even the ones that would annoy me. I'm sorry you aren't here on earth to celebrate your 100th birthday with your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I'm glad you're celebrating with Anita and Herman.
Happy Birthday Oma. Thank you for the man I've spent nearly 30 years with; Thank you for the Love you gave my children and their many happy memories at Oma's. I love you.
Thank you for taking time to read my blog today.