The following story, which is priceless to Barb and me, took place between Oct. 29 and Nov. 10.
We received a letter from Grove City College, where our son, Greg, who went to be with the Lord in 1999, graduated from in 1998. The letter advised us that Brian Weese (class of 1998) and his wife, Kim (class of 2000) had given a monetary gift to the college in memory of Greg. The letter from the college provided the above names and address of the contributors.
We were stymied concerning who would do this very kind gesture nearly 20 years after Greg died. I wrote a thank you letter to Brian and Kim to let them know how much their contribution meant to us and since they live in Maryland, we would like to take them and any children they have out to lunch or dinner in the next month before the weather might make driving more difficult.
We were surprised to receive a voicemail within a short time after our letter was received saying they would like to have dinner with us on Nov. 10. We arranged to meet at a restaurant near their church, which was only a 40 minute drive from our house. Our minds were twirling. Would we have like interests and values? Could we find enough commonality to talk for two or three hours with them? What silly thoughts! We should have known because of their kindness to us, the Lord took care of all of our questions. Obviously, we wanted to know their connections with Greg.
Brian graduated from Grove City College the same year as Greg. They were roommates their senior year. He teaches trigonometry and calculus at the high school level. He battled with cancer several years ago but is in remission. Kim majored in engineering but is not working outside the home. They have a son Daniel, 10; a daughter, Katie, 14; and their oldest child, 16, was named after our son, Greg (what an honor for our Greg and the rest of our family).
As a junior in high school, their son Greg is currently visiting colleges. He plays second base for his high school team. I also played baseball for my high school, third base and shortstop. However looking at Greg and listening to him, I’m sure he is superior to my very average skills. To challenge and encourage him, I asked him when spring comes if he would send me some short emails to let me know how his team and he are doing.
The results of our discussion were wonderful. We were told our Greg played a part in the two of them getting married. Brian and Kim dated for a short period of time, but Kim was giving up on Brian because of his apparent lack of interest because Kim was a freshman and Brian a senior. Greg on several occasions told Kim to keep up her pursuit of Brian because Brian talked about her often.
Brian and Kim and their three children all know the Lord as Barb and I do. I asked Barb to write a column (which appeared in this paper on August 21, 2018) about Joni & Friend’s Family Retreat, at Spruce Lake in the Poconos, for families with disabled members. Barb was a volunteer there for a week last year and two weeks this past summer. The Weeses have attended and helped at the camp over the years. Greg mentioned he thought Barb looked familiar. Greg Weese and Katie seemed to have the same heartfelt attitude of working with kids as our Greg did.
Barb discussed a ministry at our church called Queen for a Day that is held on a Saturday in October to pamper full-time caregivers including a continental breakfast, lunch, a tearoom, a quiet room for reading and visiting, hair dressing, manicures, hand- waxing, a prayer room, car washing, etc. Lord willing, Kim plans to attend Queen for a Day next year.
I plan to contact Grove City College to obtain information on a student who passed away during Greg’s attendance at the college and make a donation to the college in his/her name.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Weese and Hall families become life-long friends.