While I was waiting for the train in Buffalo I received the news of the death of my step-grandfather Jake Goertzen at the age of 91.
Grandpa Jake married my grandma the week before Julie and I got married (we coordinated the dates so that my family, living in Colombia at the time, could make it back for both weddings). I can't say I ever got to know Grandpa Jake very well, but my most vivid memories of him are as a wonderful, funny man who made my grandma very happy again.
It feels terrible to be far away at a time like this, but it was good to talk with my grandma on the phone yesterday. She reminded me that their honeymoon was their trip to our wedding... and she wanted to know all about my tour, which I think was her gentle way of saying it's ok that I can't be there for the funeral.
I know tomorrow afternoon in Winkler, Manitoba there will be a lot of people gathered to remember and give thanks for the life of Jake Goertzen... and as I travel in and out of Newton, Kansas for tomorrow night's concert, I'll be remembering and giving thanks too.