A Truly Precious Gemstone

I gained another angel on February 9 2020. My Oma (which means Grandma in Dutch) lived to be 101 years old. She had 5 children, 16 grandchildren, and 18 great grandchildren.

(Oma and Opa at camp - a sacred location in the Sierra Nevada's our family has been going for many generations)

(The van Loben Sels family at Oma's 100th birthday party)

A true matriarch, she was one of the most influential females in my life (the others being my Grandmother on my Father's side and my Mom) and had a major role in shaping the person I am today. Her strong unwavering faith always guided her and she instilled incredible morals, and values in myself and our entire family. She was an incredibly wise (sharp as a tack even at 101!), resilient, generous, and simple woman. Her greatest joy was being with her family and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Rarely did she complain (if ever, I can't think of a single memory) and always had a positive and hopeful outlook. She instilled the love of nature, music, and a strong work ethic in me. I am so incredibly blessed to have had her as my Oma. 

(Little Anna Janelle and Oma)

 (After graduating from UCSB I gave Oma my stole as a gift to honor her for  her moral and financial support throughout my young adulthood.) 

I had the privilege to say goodbye to her while she was on hospice care, and to have some final smiling joyous moments with her. During this process I decided to pull one of my rose quartz stones and keep it with me to help me through this difficult time. Rose quartz is the universal stone of love. It helps to purify and open the heart to promote deep inner healing and feelings of peace. It is also calming, reassuring and can help bring comfort in times of grief. I kept my stone in my pocket or fidgeting in my hand to help soothe me. She would wake up periodically and would smile, sing, and laugh with us and be so content to be surrounded by family.

 (The Hexagon Necklace in Rose Quartz, now known as my Oma necklace)

One of my last moments with her, I held Oma’s hand with the stone in between hers and mine hoping it would also bring her peace, love, and to know that it was ok to let go of this earthly world. I sang “Climb Every Mountain” from the Sound of Music to her (as best I could while trying not to cry) which I sang for her song upon request for her 100th birthday party. And I told her I would make the stone into a necklace so I could carry her with me forever. 

 (One of my last moments with Oma. She combed through my hair and said "I will remember this.")

She passed peacefully in her home on February 9th under a full moon with my Mom by her side. I know she was looking forward to and has received great salvation in heaven. Being 101 she outlived a lot of her generation - so I know they had a big welcoming party for her upstairs. I feel a deep sadness since her passing. I can put on my armor and masks during the day, but at night tears seem to drip from my eyes (not ugly cry tears but the silent kind that just roll down the cheeks). Nothing can fill the void except a deep sense of gratitude for the life and love she gave and to cherish the memories I do have.

Even though she is no longer on this earth with us I will forever carry her with me. I will be reminded of her whenever I see hummingbirds, a beautiful flower bed, eat apple sauce, polish silver, see old station wagons, spot a patch of wildflowers, hear a beautiful chorus, and while climbing every mountain. And when I need her most I can wear my Oma necklace. I like to think that I captured a tiny piece of her spirit in that necklace, and a whole lot of her love. Sometimes jewelry is frivolous, fun and decorative. And other times it can hold sacred meaning. I will cherish this stone forever. 

I encourage you to attach meaning to your jewelry. Whether it's a memory, an intention, a reminder of someone or something, whatever you need it to be to support you. It makes wearing it that much more special.

Loads of love,

Anna Janelle


Elizabeth van Loben Sels obituary



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