Feb 2017
24

For Mom

My mother passed away this week after her third battle with cancer. This is what I said at her memorial service.

My name is Aimee and I am Greta’s eldest daughter. My sister Karrie, my aunt Heidi and I thank you for joining us today.

My grandparents emigrated from Germany in 1951 when Greta was just 11, and Heidi 5. They arrived at Christmas and met people from Zion Church, including Albert, that very night.

My grandparents worked in factories and my mom went to high school at Patterson Park, making friends that would last a lifetime.

Even though she dreamed of being a flight attendant, she buckled down to work as a secretary, got married and had me and my sister.

After my father’s early death, she returned to work first at the high school library, then at what eventually became Euler ACI. She worked there until her retirement and again made many friends who she stayed close with for the rest of her life.

During my childhood, we attended church here at Zion and I know this community has always been a safe haven for her.

I love that my mom had friends from all aspects of her life. Thank you for sharing your Greta stories with us. Many of you have said how much you will miss her big laugh, and trust me, I will too.

Since both my mom and my Aunt Heidi lost their husbands early in life, they turned to each other for comfort and friendship. We have often referred to them as “frick and frack” over the years.

They traveled together, visiting us in Denver as well as trips to New England and up down the coast of California.

But beyond that, they shared the simple things in life, like watching game shows, each from their respective houses, while talking on the phone together 50 times a day.

I ask you, friends of Greta, to help me support Heidi… because I know she now has a huge gaping hole in her life.

If you know my family, we are all girls. From Germany to America, generations up and down, it was girls upon girls.

When I told Mom I was having a boy she said, and I quote, “what the hell are we going to do now?”

What she learned is boys are pretty special. Her grandson Dex was soon followed by my sister’s son and I know they were the light of her life.

People have said cancer took my mom too early and that is certainly true. But I also think about how hard she fought, for how long. She had heart and cancer problems for many years.

She fought hard, so she could be with us longer. Because mom was a fighter.

Her life wasn’t always easy but she sacrificed and scraped so my sister and I could have a better one.

In the end, the family was all there with her, over varying times, that day.

I was honored to hold her hand as she passed.

I told her, “We’re here.”

She said, “I know.”

Those were the very last words she spoke.

Many people hoped to see her before she died, and I’m so sorry that didn’t work out.

But I want you to know, that she knew.

She knew that we all loved her.

Thank you.

family700

Nov 2016
15

Coming Home To A New World

The last two weeks have been a flurry of flights and European cities. I attended the Web Summit in Lisbon for the first time, a conference where the world’s tech community comes together to exchange ideas. I was there by myself, which was a bit isolating and overwhelming, but also afforded me the chance to speak to people from all over the globe.

In the middle of all this was, of course, the election. To say I am shocked and saddened by the outcome is an understatement. More to the point, I am still in the denial stage of grief and only since returning home have I started to even process what happened.

I was at dinner with a friend and several of his friends the day after the vote. It’s important to know that all the men present were pro-business and while not necessarily pro-Trump, were definitely anti-establishment. They saw the election as a way to shake things up – and I came to see that side of the argument.

What I still can’t wrap my head around is how Trump (or “He Who Shall Not Be Named” as many of us are now calling him) is the person to do the shaking. Unless you want the vibrations to be racist, misogynistic, bigoted and from a place of poorly-run businesses.

One of the men asked me, “How then, do you think, did Trump win the election?”

“White supremacists.”

His jaw dropped at my answer, and let me explain. If you look at the numbers of who voted for Trump, it was vastly white people. While I don’t think all those voters are racists in the traditional sense of the word, in that they would deny someone a job or call a person names because of the color of the skin – that is exactly what they did with their vote. By overlooking Trump’s many, many, many, many, many comments and actions in that direction. By not being concerned about how others would be treated in a Trump presidency. Continue reading…

Lisbon
Nov 2016
11

Last Night In Lisbon

Tonight is my last night in Lisbon (technically I am in Sintra right now). I leave for Paris tomorrow and then home Sunday.

I have been here for the Web Summit, with its 53,000 attendees. Sure SXSW is big but this is international big. It was also highly focused on entrepreneurship and trade show displays, which was a bit out of my wheelhouse as a freelance web developer. But I still learned a lot about the state of technology, the world, and myself.

This week certainly was been a roller coaster on many levels. Obviously I am crushed by the election, and to be isolated from my family during this has been strange to say the least. Panic inducing would be another way to phrase it.

I know so many people who travel the world by themselves regularly (bravo you!) and I am quite used to it in the US. But as someone who struggles with anxiety – in the end, I am very proud of all I have seen and done here, all while being sick enough to visit the hospital to boot. (Yes! The curse strikes again. My eye got infected from a cold.)

Everyone told me how amazing Lisbon is and – just WOW. Everything about it makes me want to come back with my boys. The people, the architecture, the food, everything. Amazing.

Being alone in a foreign country gives you lots of time to be inside your own head and I keep reminding myself how lucky I am. My husband and son are the light of my life. We live in a fantastic city and have flexibility to change our circumstances come what may… and we have a strong tribe of smart, thoughtful and fun friends who will get us through the next four years. Thank you for all your friendship and love!

See you from the USA again soon. I have so many photos to share… of course.