Becoming Kindred Blog

31 Days of Nature Walks- In Memory of Opa

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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.  

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