Last week when I got the call that my grandmother had passed away, as much as I had prepared for that moment, it still kind of me threw me off. I haven’t actually seen my Beppe in 3 years now, and I didn’t grow up having her close by- we lived in Taber, and my grandparents lived in Surrey, BC, so we were not super close.
But, still – she was my last grandparent, and even as believers knowing that death does not have the victory, it does still bring such finality. And it causes us to think back, to remember, to reflect.
All of the grandkids were asked if they wanted to say a few things at Beppe’s funeral – to share memories of her, and so I got to speak along with two of my other cousins. As I thought about what I wanted to share, it was a little difficult – my Beppe didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things, in fact, we didn’t always get along. She was a tough lady, and not always easy. But, the longer I thought, the more happy memories I was able to come up with.
This is what I shared at Beppe’s funeral – just a little glimpse of who she was, and the legacy that she left.
Growing up on the other side of the mountains meant that while we didn’t get to see Pake & Beppe on a regular basis, we got them for a week at a time. Looking back, I remember the first sign of a visit from Pake & Beppe was brown bread – Beppe wouldn’t eat anything else. It was the only time we had brown bread in the house. J When that blue car came down the driveway, there was a lot of excitement – we loved to see them.
While we knew they were coming for a visit, Beppe never spent a lot of time sitting and visiting. She was always busy with something, helping Mom out, darning socks – oh, I always hated that she darned our socks. Mom would save them for her, and Beppe did a great job.
The times that we would drive west to go see Pake & Beppe, we got to stay in the unit, which was fantastic. I loved the unit – Beppe always had it all ready, and you could feel the welcome. There would be bread by the toaster – it was brown, mind you – dutch cheese in the fridge, and mouscus in the cupboard.
Beppe loved a good story, and she made it so enjoyable to tell her one. It was Linda who mentioned how Beppe would follow the story along with “ja, ja, ja” and then an especially long “jaaaa” if it was a really good part. And if it was funny, no one laughed like Beppe. Oh, could she laugh! She would keep going until she cried.
Beppe was always very literal – ask her how she was feeling, and the answer was always “with my hands”. Made me laugh the last time I saw Beppe, and without thinking asked how she was feeling – true to form, the answer was “with my hands.”
Beppe knew what she wanted, and she wasn’t afraid to tell you. And there was no point in arguing – you weren’t going to win. J
While Beppe was never one to just sit and relax, if you did find Beppe sitting at the table on her own, you knew her Bible was open in front of her, a notebook beside it as she spent time in the Word. No one knew the Bible like Beppe. As time went on, and Beppe wasn’t able to come to Taber anymore, we needed to come here in order to see her, and every time we walked in the house, through that sliding door into the kitchen, there was Beppe, at the kitchen table, Bible open on the table, cup of hot water beside her.
Beppe’s greatest wish for everyone, and especially her family, was that they know Jesus. While she wasn’t very politically correct about it, and honestly could be a little harsh sometimes, her deepest desire was to share the gospel of salvation with everyone.
My Beppe was one of the strongest women I’ve ever known – she was a rock – and I stand here today, proud to be one of many strong Wind women who have come behind her. I pray that while we all have learned from Beppe’s strength, that more than that, we as her grandkids and great-grandkids will follow in her footsteps of walking with the Lord and spreading the good news of Christ.
Beppe was tough as nails, but she had that sparkle in her eye. While she wasn’t a soft, mushy grandma, there was no doubt that she loved us. There’s no one like her, and she will be missed. Love you, Beppe…