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Sunday, December 20, 2009

The most wonderful woman in the world

On Saturday, Drew and I took the boys to visit their Great Grandma Kirchoff. She is by far the most wonderful woman in the world. She is the Matriarch of our family and loves absolutely every one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Dylan was her 60th great-granchild, and Cody is her 63rd. Her love, guidance, and faith is evident in each of us, and her gentle touch has reached us all through the years.

Because her husband, Edward, passed away when my dad was only 13, she faced the world with God's help and the love of her children. She is a strong woman of faith, praying with determination for each member of her family every night. I have never doubted her faith and devotion to me, or any of my cousins. After Grandpa Edward died, she persevered and raised her children on her income alone, giving my dad and his siblings less presents and more love than most parents. During the Christmas season, I reflect on how things must have been for her, and I try to offer my children guidance and patience, rather than tons of presents under the tree.

When we got to her room, I was excited to see her pretty face. Though the years have given her her share of grief and troubles, her skin is clear and soft, and her hair a gorgeous shade of grey. Her hands, although swollen from a couple of recent falls, are comforting and strong. I grab on to her familiar hands, anxious for her to meet our latest addition. Immediately, Cody gives her one of his heart melting smiles, and she giggles. How beautiful for the old to meet the young. They bond instantly, and he gazes into her eyes behind her glasses while she cradles him in her lap. Her legs start to bounce up and down, like I have seen so many times. It is the way that she comforts the many babies she has held and loved, and I remember those bounces myself. She recognizes that bounce and quickly tells me that she can't control it anymore. "I don't know when it starts, but I can't seem to stop my legs from moving."

Her spirit is so beautiful, and somehow so innocent. I truly believe that she has not had a malicious thought about anyone in her entire life, and relies on Jesus alone to keep her going from day to day. In fact, if it was her choice, she would join Edward, her children, and Lynn in Heaven. She doesn't realize that although she feels like she has lived her life to the fullest here on Earth, that there are people, like my children, who still need to learn from her faith, forgiveness, and love.

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