Who was Wilma Walinga?

My grandmother passed away last evening (Monday).

Growing up Grandma lived halfway across the country, meaning I didn’t see her as frequently as might have otherwise been possible. It did mean that when we were together we were spending lots of time together.

Grandma was someone whose influence in my life was one of caring and giving. For years and years we’d have dozens of jars of pears in our pantry, she’d get Pake to pick them from the tree in the backyard and can them and send some of them out west for us. She’d have fruitella in her purse for the grandkids all the time. When her eyesight was getting poor enough that she knew that her days of knitting were limited, she began an ambitious project to knit an entire afghan for each of the grandkids (10!). When her husband of more than 50 years had progressed in his battle with Alzheimer’s to the point her needed to move into a home she moved in basically across the street and would pay visits religiously to spend time with him, talk, and eventually feed him his meals.

When in early elementary school I skipped around between friends at school, not always satisfied by my situation. When complaining to mom at one point during that time she told me that Grandma prayed every day for me, that each day good friends were on the prayer agenda for Joshua out in Calgary. It was something I thought about on and off throughout the next many years. Grandma prayed individually for her family each day of our lives. Eventually I think I forgot that story from mom but when making profession of faith in 2003 I received a card from those grandparents… in it was written a bible verse…

    “Ever since we heard about you we have never stopped praying for you”

That verse reminded me of what I had forgotten during the ~8 years. I had someone reminding God to look out for me on my behalf each day of my life.

When Grandma passed away yesterday it was certainly her time to go. Her health had rapidly declined and the period of suffering was kept brief. It doesn’t mean she won’t be missed. I was able to speak with her 2 weeks ago on the phone, the conversation was short as anything more than a sentence at a time took a lot of work. Even so she didn’t leave me without a blessing for this summer’s ride and the subsequent return to school.

I will not be leaving the seatosea bike ride to attend the funeral. Grandma is no longer there to visit, the rest of the family can be visited at a later time, my situation this summer is one that does benefit from a sense of continuity and there is a loving community here alongside me at this time. Also the prospect of getting from the middle of Nebraska to Ontario is a tough one. I will connect with the service this coming Friday via phone.

I’ll catch up with news from the road another day. Two of us are doing 6 century rides in a row this week. Today’s took 4:56 gun time with a total of 4:48 with the wheels turning.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
You might also like:
Leave a Comment