Today my aunt, Ulrike, went to be with Jesus after fighting the evil disease of cancer for over two years.
You may be thinking, Ulrike is a different name. Well, it is in America, but Ulrike grew up in Bremen, Germany. She married my mom’s older brother, Blair. They have three precious girls: Bonnie and Anna who are in college, and Georgia, a junior in high school. They are three exceptionally intelligent, creative, talented, and spirited girls who are very obviously the joys of Ulrike’s life. They also all speak German, which is super cool! I remember when they were little and when they got into trouble, Ulrike would reprimand them in German and often they would respond in English, “no Mama!” which always left me curious what they had done!
Much of my memories with Ulrike center around games! It didn’t matter if we were at Mammy and Granddaddy’s house or somewhere else, my family spent hours sitting around the table, laughing and playing countless hours of games. From Rummikub to cards to my brother’s goofy childhood game, Omega Virus. Ulrike is wicked smart (she taught high school math!) and used her smarts in combination with her seemingly quiet spirit to be sneaky and kick everyone’s tail, even if one of my cousin’s or my brother cheated… :)
Ulrike is also incredibly talented, always creating, sewing, and knitting the most beautiful things. My freshman year in college she gave me a super creative and fun Christmas gift. It was a college survival kit complete with ramen noodles, a little laundry money, a calling card (do they even make those anymore?), hot chocolate, and a few other college necessities. It was so fun and the thought she put into it always touched my heart.
But most of all, Ulrike loves deeply and serves fervently. She is one of the kindest, humblest, servant-hearted women I have ever known. Her life most definitely exudes the Proverbs 31 woman.
We are thankful the Lord gave her these two years. I know she is in Paradise now, out of pain and hurt, but I know Blair and her girls especially, are grieving the loss of their wife and Mama.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21