Justin’s grandma, Barbara La Vigne, passed away this past week and I’d love to pay my respects to her by writing a little bit about our time on Earth with her!
As soon as I met Grandma La Vigne and learned that she loved chocolate as much as I did, I knew that I would love her like my own grandparents.
But in all seriousness, I’ve now known Justin for 17 years (gasp!), so this means his family is essentially my family. Justin’s grandpa died in 1983, meaning his grandma lived for SO many more years without her spouse. I can’t even imagine that. But she created a life of her own and made family her priority.
She lived in the San Francisco area—far from her 3 children and 6 grandchildren—but always made it a point to get everyone together as often as she could.
This started as early as 1989, when she flew Justin out to California at age 13 for a solo trip.
Back in 2007, she invited all her granddaughters out to Walnut Creek (where she lived) for a family gathering. I had just married into the family, but she included me for the trip!
Starting around 2008, she would meet Justin and his siblings each year in Chicago for Mother’s Day. It was a sweet tradition that went on until 2011 or so.
I even visited her on my own in 2008 when I was traveling for business in San Francisco. It was so fun to have one-on-one time with her!
Once she moved to a nursing home in Virginia Beach in 2013, Justin & I started conveniently visiting her there during our nomadic travels. I think one of my favorite things about Justin’s grandma was that she was a great listener. She would always ask Justin, “where are you?” Valid question, given our life. But she would listen to our stories, ask questions and never hold any judgement.
Bringing Justin’s family together time and time again was an amazing feat with everyone all over the place.
Even to the day she passed at 95, Grandma La Vigne was a firecracker.
There’s no doubt that grandparents are awesome and now that Justin has none left, and I only have my Nana, we are reminded that time spent with family is a gift that should never be taken for granted.
We will miss you, and always think of you, Grandma La Vigne.