Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Grandpa Epp

(Grandpa and Grandma Epp a few years ago)

Last Friday morning we received news that my Grandpa Epp had passed away early that morning. Even though he had been hospitalized and very sick over Christmas--it was still hard to hear.
My sister, dad and I decided to make the drive up to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada for the funeral. We really wanted to be there. (My mom flew up early Saturday morning)

We departed on our road trip Sunday after church, and drove all the way to Fargo. In true 'great-white-north' style, it began to get snowy, windy and VERY cold.
(This really fuzzy picture shows the temperatures the night we drove in. Believe it or not, this was the WARM day.)

We met my brother and his family in Fargo, ND where we stayed the night. Early the next morning, we left again. Monday we drove up to Saskatoon and arrived just in time to make an awkward appearance (We're HE-RE!) at the viewing...we missed out on hearing some fun stories of my grandpa, but luckily, we heard many more over the next couple of days...

The next day we had grandpa's burial (in -25 temperatures) and then his funeral service. Wednesday, we hung out with grandma for a little bit before heading out again. It was a good thing we didn't stay too late--as we met up with pretty bad roads in North Dakota! We FINALLY drove out of the bitter cold in South Dakota, and saw the sun again. Canadian cousins: stop reading here: {How can ANYONE live in that cold?????} :-)
(our view for MUCH of the trip--there's a reason they call it the 'Great White North'!)

I was so glad I was able to go on the trip (and that Joel was okay for 4 days alone with the kids!)
It was so bittersweet to hear stories about grandpa from daughters, siblings, nieces and nephews, and us grandchildren. There were LOTS of laughs, and quite a few tears, too. He was such a sweet man.

The thing I loved most was hearing from everyone how devoted he was with his time with the Lord each day. He read through the Bible yearly. I still remember hearing he and grandma pray each night (for each of us!) and listening to them have devotions each morning. He was a quiet, loving patient (except when driving, I hear!) and kind. My cousin Karmyn read 1 Cor. 13 during her tribute to him, and it was amazing to hear how much he was characterized by love. I am so thankful for Grandpa's life and legacy--and that he is now finally free from pain and weakness, sickness and death. And I can't wait to see him again someday!

(our cousin pic--only Dallas, Joel and Adrian were missing!)

(thought this was fitting)

(Addilyn kept me company in the backseat for a few hours on the way up...she read "Green Eggs and Ham" in it's entirety!)

(Me and Grandma after the funeral)

(Grandpa and my siblings a LONG time ago...)

(Grandpa and my mom on her wedding day--1979)

(Grandpa and Grandma on THEIR wedding day--1949?)


Amanda said...

This was such a sweet post - I loved hearing about your Grandpa. I'm glad you time in Canada was a joyous one yet sad too, I know. What a sweet sweet legacy that he left behind.

And I'm at least glad you didn't freeze to death.

Denita Dyck said...

Its always good to hear more about Grandpa- even the stuff I know. Makes him feel closer. So glad we could be together during such a tough (and INSANELY cold) time.

Aaron and Shannon said...

Sorry about your Grandpa. It's so hard to loose such great people, but it is comforting to know we will see them again! Glad you made it back home safely!

Amy Warden said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Kendall. Grandpa Epp sounds like such a wonderful Christian man. Our heritages are very similar, I would say. Such a blessing!!!

Rich and Carolyn Dewey said...

A lovely tribute! Treasure your memories and continue his legacy!

Heather said...

What a great post! I love hearing about faithful followers. I love that Sarah Groves song too! My Grandpa too was so he and your grandpa are getting to hang out with each other in heaven!