After church we picked up the kids and walked across the street to Oma's house. Actually, right now my cousin Nate and his family live there and Oma has an apartment on one end of the house. Still, to me, that house will always be Oma's. We had a sweet time singing hymns together, praising the God who made us family and who cares for us. There were over 50 people there and yet, as Pete and I did the math later we recognized, that was just over half of the offspring of Opa and Oma. God's faithfulness to the generations of our family was evident in that room.
Afterwards, as we drove away, I realized that apart from my parents love, that house was the one constant in my life. As a military family, we called several different places home. But that house was always a place we returned to. I lived there for brief periods, once as a child, and then again when Pete and I were dating. So many memories are wrapped up in that place- after school nachos with my uncle Tim (not even a year older than me), skating in the church parking lot next door, sliding down the stairs on blankets, lying in bed at night with the sound of the trains at the crossing nearby interrupting the comforting sounds of my parents, aunts and uncles, and Opa and Oma talking in the living room. The hours I spent tearing down wall paper in the room I lived in when I was 22. There was much time sitting on the front porch, relaxing and talking with Opa and Oma. That was always such an inviting room with a restful cottage feel. Opa died suddenly of a heart attack nearly 12 years ago, but I can still hear his voice, his laughter, his Dutch accent.
I'm so thankful for the years of memories I have of my Grandparents on both sides of the family. The Lord has richly blessed me with a Godly heritage and I treasure the moments I've enjoyed with them.