A year ago today, the world lost one of the most special women…ever.
When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to have that cool older cousin that was just…so…cool. She was nine years older than me. Just the perfect age to keep her coolness factor from the time I was a tiny tike, through mommyhood. Growing up going to my grandparent’s home on the lake for family parties, I would always be extra excited if Petra was going to be there. Anyone that ever met her would attest to the fact that she had a magnetic quality that just drew people in. She was so likeable. She could make you feel special in any interaction you had with her.
I remember some tearful days for Petra as she was attending WMU, much too far from her first and only love, her high school sweetheart. She was just so in love. At nine, I could only dream of one day having the fairytale love that Petra was living. As many of you know, I followed in Petra’s footsteps, marrying my own high school sweetheart.
Petra’s wedding was beautiful. I remember going to one of her wedding dress fittings. She stood on the pedestal in the bridal salon looking absolutely stunning. Her dress had a heart cutout on the back and I thought it was beautiful. I asked if I could wear it in my own wedding someday. It was the first time I had ever thought about my future wedding and she had set the picture in my head for what I wanted it to be. Though, I didn’t actually wear her dress, I still remember the awe I had for her on that day. Again, she was just so perfect.
It was on to motherhood for Petra. Through six wonderful children, she truly left her mark. It always amazed me how you could have that many children and have them each so well behaved. Every time we saw them, they were the picture of the perfect family. It still baffles me today how she could handle everything with ease, grace, and classiness. She even looked good doing it! I know that with just my two kids…well…you know. I can’t even imagine being so put together with six.
Loss, unfortunately, was a bit of a theme for my family in 2011. From that, I know there are no words that I can express to her family to fill the void that comes with such a great loss. Know that I think of Petra everyday and the wonderful woman that she was. I am confident that each and every one of her children has a special mother angel watching over them in everything that they do. When I have a bad day as a mother and naughty kids have me raising my voice in frustration, I think of Petra. I think of the type of mother that she was and the type of mother and woman that I aspire to be.
Dedicated to a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, and friend.
Petra Maria Sambaer
August 16, 1971 – March 23, 2011.
Love you forever and always.