playing the role of oomah

In the chaos of the last couple of days, two moments.

Brooke often uses her favorite shows as a way to process and understand the world. It’s a brilliant strategy, really, reformatting that which is otherwise frustratingly shapeless, conceptual, intangible into the well-defined and relatable structure of a television show or movie. As such, this was what she had to say about Oomah when I told her of her passing:

“Maybe now we can all play the role of Oomah.”

Last night I had a moment. One among many yesterday in which, again and again, I was jolted by the fact that all of this was real. Katie saw my face and said two words.

“Turn around.”

Without question, I did, submitting wholly to my girl as she put her warm hands on my shoulders and began to rub them. My head dropped and the tears came unbidden. “Oh, baby,” I said, “thank you.”

“I learned from the best,” she said, “who learned from the best, who learned from the very best.”

Yesterday, when I spoke about Grandma, I said, “We loved her as she loved us – warmly, powerfully, unconditionally. Because she had shown us all how.”

And so too, that is how we will continue to love one another, by playing the role of Oomah.


{images above and below are photos of Katie, Brooke, and three of their cousins love-smushing in the hotel pool last night. Before her passing, Grandma arranged to pay for all of our rooms and our meals here. Even now, she is feeding us, housing us, and keeping us together.}




9 thoughts on “playing the role of oomah

  1. I am jealous of the man that Katie will eventually find and marry. She is a highly polished gem from a family of jewels. What impresses me (beyond your writing skill, of course) is that you are all in this together, as a cohesive family. You are wealthy beyond gems and jewels.

  2. Hugs to all, Jess! You are well-loved. …and that, “Maybe now we can all play the role of Oomah.” WOW! Out of the mouth of babes….

    Love you,

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