My Opa and Oma VanderVecht were the kind of grandparents that enriched the lives of every one of their grandchildren. They were steadfast, welcoming and loved without conditions. I will always cherish the best gift they have given me- the gift of quality time. Somehow, they seemed to find time for every one of their 26 (I think) grandchildren. I will always cherish the many, many sleepovers at their house, even into teenage hood. I loved their small bedroom at the end of their hallway, even though they had 2 other larger sized bedrooms. I loved spending time in Opa's woodshop or going to the market with Oma. I loved sitting at their table for meals with fond memories of gouda cheese and dutch chocolate sprinkles :-) Oma's soups often looked gross (pea soup for example) but once I tasted them, I realized they were super yummy. I loved spending time with Opa in his backyard with all his birds or with Oma in her gardens. I will miss Oma's hugs that she gave me every single time I entered her door... Oma and Opa always had an open door policy. I will miss Opa's conversations about religion and boys.... he loved to tease :-P He did have a lot of wisdom to impart and I will also miss his "strong" hugs. Opa had a great sense of humour, I will miss his big grin. I will miss watching Oma knit at the speed of light- she even had the patience to teach me how to knit! My Opa was even brave enough to help teach me how to drive.... that stopped short the day I turned a corner in his van at 40 km per hour and Oma, who was sitting in the middle seat, went flying backwards! It wasn't my fault the bench wasn't attached to the floor properly :-P I may have gotten scolded for that! haha! I will forever have fond memories of family gatherings and playing in the front veranda which was a place set apart just for the grandchildren. Even my own kids had a few opportunities to play in there with all the same toys that brought us so much joy. Opa and Oma created a home that screamed "grandchildren welcome here!". To me, they were pillars of love and faith. They have left an incredible legacy and I can only hope to be the caliber of grandparents they were to many of us.
"Grandparents are a family's greatest treasure, the founders of a loving legacy, The greatest storytellers, the keepers of traditions that linger on in cherished memory. Grandparents are the family's strong foundation. Their very special love sets them apart. Through happiness and sorrow, through their special love and caring, grandparents keep a family close at heart." ~author unknown