What constitutes a life that has been well lived? Is it the amount of years we have lived? Is it the lives we have touched? I don't think there is a definition of what makes a life a success. In the past week the world has lost some dear souls. Following the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School we learned that many of the lives taken were those of children. They were 6 and 7 years old, and while they were so young, I guarantee you that their lives were well lived. It's unfathomable to think that they were cut short so senselessly, but I know that in their lives, they touched many people, and they will never be forgotten.
A couple days ago there was another life that ended. It was not a short life, of few years, but rather a life that was long and blessed in so many ways. That is the life of my Grandma, the first Laura DeKok. I have so many memories of my Grandma from over the years. I was one of those kids who was lucky enough to have all of my grandparents alive until late into my 20s. My Grandma's passing was not unexpected. We knew that she was sick, and at the age of 90, she had lived an amazing life.
My Grandma was born in the small town of Jackson, Minnesota. She married my Grandpa, Arie, and they had 7 children. Seven! They lived on a beautiful farm in Stewartville, Minnesota.
I think one of the coolest things about my grandparents was how much they loved each other. When my Grandpa passed away, probably about 2 years ago, my Grandma joked that she was going to get chapped lips because my Grandpa kept asking her for kisses. I went to visit my Grandma last weekend, and I am so glad I did. We got to chat for a while, and I gave her a hug and kiss when I left, and something told me to go back and give her another hug, and I'm glad I did. When we were talking she told me that she still misses my Grandpa, every day. She said there are so many times where she will roll over in bed to tell him something, and he's not there. The love they shared was unlike many relationships that I've ever seen, and I am so thankful that I was able to witness such a cool thing.
This week Heaven gained some precious souls, and I know my Grandpa was waiting, with open arms, when my Grandma walked in.
The following is a set of pictures that I absolutely love. It's my grandparents each in their military uniforms from their younger days.
As a final note, I just want to say that life is precious. It is not something that is guaranteed to any of us. The petty things in life are not worth holding onto. Family is a blessing, and our friends are a godsend. Take a minute today to give some love to those around you. Never take them for granted.