(from left: Dan, Dave, Gramps, Maggie, Pete, John)
Over six months ago, plans began for a Gasper family reunion. Justin's dad and his siblings worked at getting everyone together at a state park near Cincinnati, Ohio. Reservations were made and rough plans put in place for the weekend. We all may have had different expectations for the weekend, but God certainly had something else in mind for this gathering. About two weeks ago Justin's grandmother, Gigi, went into the hospital and had her galbladder removed, but then doctors continued to find masses within her, presumably cancer. Things advanced very quickly, much more so than anyone imagined. Though in her late 80's, Gigi has been incredibly active, helping with her church, with adults and children, delivering bread and food to a local pantry, visiting with a multitude of friends and family, writing monthly letters and prayer journals to near about a billion people on the planet (slight exaggeration, but still, a lot), caring for Gramps, and feeding and protecting just about every stray cat in their neighborhood. She possesses the characteristic Gasper sense of humor and makes every attempt to show Christ's love to everyone around her. On Saturday, her children and grandchildren were able to visit with her at the hospital, laugh over memories, and show and receive her love.
(Cousins from left: me, Justin, Beth, Sally, Lynn, baby Carson, Andy - and be sure to notice the sweet mural on the wall!)
Later in the day, Uncle Dave and his wife Jan drove Gramps out to the park, and we were able to share a meal together at the restaurant in the lodge. We continued to catch up on news with other family members and sang Happy Birthday as loudly as possible for Sally's 28th birthday. Afterward we played games, drank entirely too much crazy soda, and laughed around a campfire.
Though exhausting, the weekend was a good one, and we're so thankful to have been able to go.