Erick’s beloved and sweet Grandma Vi went home to the Lord on Sunday. She was 94. We’re grieving and we’re heartbroken. But we’re also rejoicing. Grandma has wanted to go home to the Lord for so long. We know she is in God’s presence.
I (Courtney) am no stranger to losing a grandparent. Part of the joy of marriage is that you gain a whole new family the day you say “I do”. But Grandma Vi earned a special place in my heart long before our wedding day — she and I met when Erick and I started dating more than six years ago.
We were over at her house with Erick’s Dad, Lyle, for an afternoon so the men could do some yard work and fix-up her driveway. I was ready and willing to help the men out, but Grandma had other plans for me. I was quickly called inside so she and I could “have coffee and chat.”
Coffee and conversations always sound more appealing than weeding and sealing a driveway.
Our chat turned into nearly a two-hour conversation — mostly Grandma talking 🙂 — about her love for the Lord, her Elmer (Erick’s Grandpa who died in 1975) gardening, cooking, and of course her deep love and admiration for Erick.
I don’t remember all of the details of our conversation, but I remember two things:
One — she talked about her deep love for her husband who she’d lost more than 30 years ago. She shared stories of their first dance, the day they married, when they bought their home, the day he died, and how she longed to see him again. I remember crying with her when tears ran down her cheeks as memories flooded her mind about hopes fulfilled and dreams lost. She was still madly in love with her man. I remember longing for a love like hers. Only the Lord knew that her beloved grandson would become my husband three years later.
Two, she expressed her unfailing love for the Lord. Though her body was failing her, her mind was present, and she never stopped giving the glory to her Savior. She talked about how she longed to see His face, and that when she died she’d head off to heaven “to worship the Lord and bake cookies.” She then proceeded to ask me what my favorite cookie was so when I got there she’d have a batch ready for me.
I fell in love with Grandma that day.
Fast forward a few years to the months leading up to our wedding. Grandma had recently been moved to a nursing home because she required 24-hour care. There was even a time over the summer of 2009 that we thought we might lose her. But Grandma seemed determined to make it to our wedding day. And that she did. 🙂
This weekend we’re going home to celebrate the marriage of Erick’s cousin Elliot and his beautiful bride Jackie. Though this day is going to be full of inexpressible joy, I know the family will be feeling the loss. Similar to me, Elliot also lost his grandparents early in life and adopted Grandma Vi as his own. She left a legacy with her family.
We ask that you pray for our family. Specifically, Erick’s dad Lyle and his Aunt Gloria. Though we were all prepared to say goodbye, you can never fully prep your heart for the loss you feel when you lose a parent.
We’ll miss you Grandma. I’m looking forward to those oatmeal cookies.