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Condolence From: Heidi Behrens-Benedict
Condolence: Oh, she was a darling! The best mother-in-law a person could imagine. It’s always a puzzle to me whenever I see a play or movie where everyone is rolling their eyes or giving each other knowing glances as they start telling “mother-in-law” jokes. I always wonder ~ what’s up with that? They certainly never knew Virginia. She was wonderful; such a lovely, ready laugh and bright, sparkly eyes.

And, as a grandmother? The best! Having grown up in a military family, I saw my grandparents less than a dozen times in my life. When I did see them, they were the pleasant strangers I didn’t know. Because I didn’t really “have” grandparents, I have to say I never understood the value of grandparents until Virginia and Don.

Virginia? She’d grab my babies out of my arms as I came in the door. She’d start cooing, hugging, smiling, and laughing as those babies gurgled back with toothless grins. The thing I learned from Don and Virginia (the best grandparents on the planet) is how wonderful it is to have your children surrounded by such deep, abiding love and joy. As a parent, we want to have the world love our children and treat them with tenderness. My children saw the world as a loving, generous place because of the love and attention their grandparents poured on them. That is a complete miracle.

What was she like? She was smart. She was funny. She was kind. She was deeply devoted and lived her values every day with every person. She poured her love onto her beloved Don, her darling daughter and wonderful son. And, they, in turn, poured that love onto their children and friends. I remember one time when my son said, “to the extent I am generous, I learned it from you.” And, I learned it from Virginia and her dear Don ~ both open-hearted and emotionally generous.

Even though she is gone, her spirit remains reflected in her children and grandchildren. I am deeply grateful to have known Virginia Benedict and to have had her in my life. I am immeasurably enriched.
Sunday July 09, 2017