a difficult season

When I was born, I only had two living great grandparents: my dad’s maternal grandpa and my mom’s maternal grandma.

I hardly remember either of them.

When Eddie was born he had seven living great grandparents: all except my maternal grandmother.

Cort's Grandma and Grandpa Sluiter meeting Eddie

Four Generations: My dad and me and Eddie with my paternal grandparents

Four Generations: Cort, Eddie, Cort's mom, and Cort's maternal grandpa

four generations: my mom, me, and Eddie with my maternal grandpa

I feel like that is lucky.

Our grandparents are all in their 80’s now.

A new season of life is upon us.

Last Christmas we lost Cort’s Grandpa Sluiter.

This weekend we lost Cort’s Grandpa Potter.

Cort with both grandpas in 2005 (at our wedding)

Cort found strength and wisdom in these men.

Especially over the past seven years of our marriage after his own dad died.

Now all three father figures in his shared bloodline are gone.

Our sons will not remember these men.

I think that is what hurts my heart the most.

Cortney is a strong, brave, wise, witty man.

He has a way with people that puts them at ease.

He is quick with a witty retort.

He is sensitive to his wife’s needs in a way a lot of men are not.

He got those qualities from his dad and grandpas.

This new season we find ourselves in is uncomfortable.

It is the season of adulthood where we both welcome new life and say goodbye to weary lives.

Where we take from heaven and give back to heaven.

It’s a confusing and painful season.

But it reminds us to cherish and love the ones who are here…

Our family (Cort's side) with his maternal grandparents

…because we don’t know how long they have on this earth.

We feel lucky for having them.

And comforted knowing those who have moved on are now in paradise.

You will walk with her again soon, Grandpa.

Until then, we will take good care of her for you.

And when you meet again there will be no cane, no pain, no obstacles.

May Cort and I always hold hands and giggle like we are courting…

just like you and Grandma.

We love you and miss you.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. This beautiful tribute brought tears to my eyes. It is, indeed, a difficult season. I am sending you thought of love & comfort as you feel this loss.

    It is also a fruitful season as you grow a new generation of amazing men who will no doubt be as wonderful as Cort.

  2. Absolutely perfect tribute, so beautifully written. You have me in tears. I hope your whole family either sees this online or you have made/are making them a nice hard copy.

    My hubby just lost his paternal grandpa – the last of our grandparents on either side – last year, so this really hit home for me. I will show it to him when the time is right. Thank you so much for writing it!!!

    and P.S. – I agree w/Jennifer that with parents like you guys, the chain will go on unbroken.

    Hugs & Many Blessings to You All,

  3. Kristi Potter says

    Kate, This is beautiful. It made me smile. It made me cry. It made me thankful (again) that you are part of this crazy Potter bunch. I love the pic of Cort and the grandpas. And, of course, the one of grandpa and grandma walking together. Thank you for your beautiful words. Love to you and your family.

  4. Oh honey, I am so so so sorry.
    This breaks my heart but your words?
    Such a lovely tribute to the amazing souls that touched your hearts.
    Praying for all of you.

  5. I’m sorry for your loss. It’s so nice that you got some family pictures to remember them by.

  6. These posts should come with a warning… bringing tears while at work isn’t a great way to impress the coworkers.

    Great post, hun. You definitely have a way with words, a way to pull at those emotional strings.

    Thank you for this.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. This beautiful tribute shows just how your loved ones are missed.

    Sending peace and love. xoxo

  8. This made my eyes misty and my heart simultaneously hurt and full. My paternal grandparents were instrumental in my life. My grandfather is gone but his memory and his lessons and most of all how much he loved me is alive and well in me and in my children. My grandmother – I am just so lucky that she is still here – I will be lost when she is gone. Both of my girls carry her name. I don’t know who I would be without her and I don’t know who I will become when she is gone. But you’re right, like the changing of seasons it is inevitable. I’m going to call her right now.

  9. what a bittersweet and beautiful way to honor those people…bless y’all right now. xo

  10. The end of this post slayed me.
    And inspired me.

    May we all be so well-loved.

  11. When I was born, I only had 1 living grandparent; my maternal grandfather. He passed away when I was 2.
    I’ve never had grandparents in my life & am slightly jealous of those blessed with grandparents.
    My kids have both grandmas & that’s it.
    To hear you talk about great-grandparents for your kids is amazing! And very foreign.

  12. Part of my comment didn’t appear! Dumb iPhone…

    I’m sorry for the loss & send cyber hugs your way.

    As always, your writing is exquisite.

  13. It’s so hard to say goodbye to such wonderful people in our lives. Bless your family.

  14. This is a truly, truly beautiful post . . . but it’s so wonderful that you got to know each other’s families so well.

    When I married my wife, the only surviving grandparent was her mother’s father . . . I hear stories of her mother’s mother, and her father’s father and I grow jealous, wishing that I could, at least, have spent some time with them.

    And then I think of my father’s father, and how much he’d love my wife.

    It’s really, really special, what you’ve shared.


  15. Beautifully written. ((())) to you all