Our weekend was full of plans, some of which included homecoming activities for our kids. We had been to Pella several prior weekends, including the weekend before for Heath's friend Jason's wedding, so it was nice to have a weekend at home, but this time Pella was coming to us! Harris's three nephews were coming into town while their parents went to a wedding in Chicago, so we knew it would be busy and fun as the kids took turns at our house and Harris's brother Vance's house. They came already on Thursday night, but Steph graciously watched them until Friday afternoon so that I could take Heath to school on Friday. It was very humbling for him to have me driving his car, but we had a fun day together.
Once we got there, Heath got me all set up in the college library so that I could make my day as productive as possible. After his first class, though, he came to check on me, and we decided to visit the financial aid office together. Because of this new turn of events in his life and the fact that he wasn't allowed to drive, we needed to start exploring various options of either online classes or moving into the dorms there. Eventually I was led to the "Student Success" office where I found the staff to be extremely compassionate and accommodating. They were more than willing to work with us, and we left school that day with a lot of different options to discuss over the course of the next few days. Heath ended up connecting with another student from the QC who commutes, so for now he's planning on finishing out the semester and riding with Kyle as often as possible.
Sunday morning at church, I think we were all feeling pretty numb. When we were singing "How Great Is Our God," I looked over at Heath, and he was having a really hard time holding it together. Then my tears started flowing as well. We had lost so much in the last little while, and the weight of the world was upon all of us. After lunch Harris and I left for Pella for his grandma's visitation, but we made the executive decision, with Harris's mom's blessing, to leave the kids at home and not make them miss another day at school. Under normal circumstances, they would have gone with us, even though they hardly knew her because of her last 10 years in the Alzheimer unit, but we knew that it was in their best interest to stay home. We enjoyed some time together with Harris's family on Sunday afternon and evening, and then it did my heart some good to slip away and see some of my family members, including my grandpa and grandma De Boef, who are now our last two living grandparents here on earth.
Grandma Vander Linden's funeral was on Monday, exactly two weeks after we buried Harris's dad. The timing of everything was horrible, especially for Harris's mom, but we know that Grandma is so much happier in Heaven. My heart was consumed with worry about Heath, but when we sang, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow," I found myself being so comforted by the words in that hymn. It truly is only by the grace of God that we can face the challenges that are presented to us every day.