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Today will be my first
spontaneous post of the month; the previous ones hurriedly written and
readied for posting before Dan took his work computer (and our only
working computer) with him to Ontario. I’ll just tell you ahead of time
that it’s not totally nature walk related but a little. Dan’s
grandfather died and so he went to spend the past week with his family. Dan’s
family has truly become my family and I have especially treasured
having grandparents. It was hard not being able to go with Dan and yet I’m
so glad that we were in a place that he was able to go. Before Dan left
we went through some of the photos of our visits with his grandparents.
I smiled and sniffed my way through the photos of Opa’s beaming smile
as wee baby Cecily rested on him after his afternoon nap, as he and two
year old Aneliese grinned at each other while riding a mechanical horse
and elephant, and then again as Kathleen grinned at he and Oma cuddling her this past Christmas when we had one last visit.

When
we were married in BC, both sets of grandparents were able to come for
our wedding. Oma and Opa Froese spent the week prior to our wedding
visiting in the valley where I grew up and where we were married. It’s a
beautiful place and often we would notice that Opa had disappeared;
usually off exploring some new spot. I’m pretty sure that he explored
most of the places that I and my siblings spent hours playing as kids.
And he’d come back quietly grinning with the enjoyment that he had had
climbing up some trail or following the river a ways, even finding our
“secret” caves. He told me more than once in the years after that he really enjoyed that trip to BC. In a way, especially now, it’s like a little gift that I could give, sharing my little valley with him.

When
someone has lived a long, full life and in the end suffers with pain
and illness, I’d not wish to keep them from going to where there is
life, joy, and Jesus but I will miss Opa’s sincere “welcome” as we walk
through the door, I’ll miss hearing him chuckle as he walks with the
girls or watches them run up and down the hallway of their apartment
building. I’ll treasure the walk to see his old barn and bush, the walk
to the park because he wanted to see Aneliese laugh on swings, and I’ll
always be thankful for the nine years that I had a grandpa.