This beautiful (inside and out) woman is my grandmother, on my mom's side.
Helena Swart Smith.
We call her 'Oma'.
(the European word for Grandmother)
She is the one woman on this Earth that I LOVE MORE than any other woman I have EVER known.
She was born in Holland in the early 1900's. LeGrand Richards (a LDS well known pubic figure, author, Missionary and VERY righteous man) gave her, MY GRANDMOTHER, a precious and spiritual 'fathers blessing' when she was born! This is a rare opportunity and blessing ♥
Her father had joined the Mormon faith when he was a young man in Holland, but married a good woman who was not a member of the LDS church, but was Lutheran. Tragically, this sweet woman, my Oma's own mother, died of Breast cancer, after having 5 children, when my Oma was only 9 years old!
She had one older brother and was the oldest girl of her 3 younger sisters, so she instantly became the 'Mother' of the home for herself, her brother, and her 3 little sisters.
She worked VERY hard doing all the work to care for them, and also for her lonely, hard-working father. She suffered, and was an angel daughter and sister.
After many years, her father was so concerned for his daughters (especially Helena) having no mother, that he eventually re-married a very kind and loving woman who again was not LDS, but read the Book Of Mormon and KNEW with all her heart that it was true and so was instantly baptized a member, and who in turn 'loved' Helena and her sisters very much and was an angel to them all. Earning the love and respect of all the siblings.
Tragically, death would enter this sweet girls life again, when her older brother drown in a swimming accident in Holland, when she was only 18 and he was 19. She loved her older brother dearly, and I am sure it made her grieve deeply.
She and her family soon had the opportunity to go to America, (Salt Lake City) to join the faithful Mormons in this beautiful valley, so she traveled in a large ship across the sea and traveled by train to get to the SLC valley when she was only 21, where she met and married another wonderful, honest, faithful and righteous Dutch man named Gerrit Smit (Ellis Island renamed him 'Smith').
He was her sole-mate and she LOVED him deeply and eternally. She spoke of him often!
Tragically, death would enter this sweet girls life again, and when she gave birth to her first baby, a son, (which is the MOST emotional events in a womans life) he was discovered to have a small heart valve defect and within 3 days (no surgical procedure had been invented in that day) he would pass away, leaving her to grieve immensely!!
She went on to have my Uncle William (Bill) and then my mother (Marjorie) and then 3 more sons, my moms younger brothers, Bob, Jerry, and Theodore (Ted). Who are ALL wonderful men! They are all best friend siblings!
Tragically, death would enter this sweet girls life again, when she learned that her dear husband had a growing brain tumor when he was only 49 years old! In that day these were in-operative also, just like her first baby's situation so she had to instead watch him slowly die over the next 14 years.
Her husband Gerrit, my grandpa, under the awesome care of my Oma and my mother Marjorie, lived another long 14 years and eventually died at 63 years old.
He died shortly BEFORE I was born, but leaving her to be a very lonely, yet super sweet and loving widow at a young age.
My Oma, and my mother, took very good care of him for those 14 years while he slowly deteriorated to be incapable to do anything on his own, "a vegetable", in scientific slang.
My Oma, Helena, had a loving, compassionate, sympathetic, and understanding Heart like NO OTHER woman on Earth, and I and all could feel it and knew it, by her Exemplary service and love she was towards me and all others!!! She held me often as a baby and I was very bonded with her.
She is, and was, an 'incredible and humble woman'.
Now a widow, she spent the rest of her years, working hard to help raise her daughters children, my moms kids, myself and my siblings all of my growing up years!
She was a 'Savior' of sorts.
While my mom was busy having 8 kids in 11 years, my Oma was busy caring for us infants, loving us, picking us up, hugging us, rocking us, and mothering us with much compassion.
I have a STRONG bond with this dear woman Helena, because of her heart to LOVE me first and showed me what LOVE was ♥!
She lived another 20 plus more years on this Earth, being a 'second' mom to my siblings and many others, until she passed into the loving arms of her beloved husband, mother, and many others, at the age of 87.
Serving others with all her heart all her life created an incredible example of a woman FULL of the Charity of Christ.
She even would send all of her grandchildren (approx. 32 kids) Birthday cards every year, with a crisp new $2 bill in the card. She would make others feel so loved. She even loved my first husband Bernd Holler, and treated him so kindly.
She lived long enough to coherently meet Austin, my moms 1st Grandchild! Oma loved Austin SO much!!
I have pics and video of them together.
She met Jordan too when he was just a baby, but she was pretty much going in and out of the Spirit world, by then.
She talked often of her sweet solemate Gerrit, and how much she missed him, and she never once remarried after he died young, or thought of re-marrying. Amazingly this is how I feel about my Silvio Rodolfo Acosta. It's quite amazing, when you find your soul-mate...you just KNOW it, and you are never the same again.
You love others in a 'Godly way', but your heart and soul belong to your soul-mate, and none other, and when you find them, you will never be the same. Believe me, I know.
Shortly before my Oma finally experienced her own passing into the Spirit world, (At 87 years old and after witnessing so many others passing on before her, throughout her life, losing those she loved) ... the veil of the physical world around her became thinner and thinner to her natural eyes, and she spoke much of the Spirit world and her experiences... to me, and to those close to her.
She could see this lighter dimension and world around her, just like you and I can see the world out the windows around us. She shared, only with a few of us humble ones, a few stories of great spiritual worth and incredible insight. Ask me and I will tell you...
She was a very humble and Godly woman!!
So, that is a short-story of the life of my dearly loved grandmother, Helena Smith, My "Oma"!
I was just thinking of her today...since my own mother is nearing death soon...and she and I talked about my Oma over the Holidays, and I was reminded of what an incredibly strong, faithful, and beautiful woman she was and is.
Mainly from all the death, trials, heartache and grief she had to personally experience in the short existence of hers.
My Oma is 'my role model' ... of the MOST Spiritual, Godly, Giving, and GOOD woman I have EVER met in my life... and I think of her often.
Time flies by so fast!
I look forward to seeing her again one day soon, when I pass on to the Spiritual dimension where Michael, Oma, and my many loving family members will welcome me with open arms and great LOVE.
KNOWING THIS, is an incredible blessing!
( Also, I can hardly wait til my boys will meet her someday)