This morning we learned that Jamie's grandmother, Evelyn Skaggs passed away in Seattle, Washington. Evelyn served as a missionary to Egypt in the late 40's and early 1950's before Jamie and her family moved there in the 1980's. She was a much beloved person in the Church of God had a large influence on many people who went on to become leaders. This is a big loss for many people.
Evelyn was obviously very special to us. Trips to the Pacific Northwest always involved visits to see Grandma. She was like a grandmother to me, and was a GREAT great-grandmother to Marco. She was extremely sharp, was very well-read, and was a total joy to converse with for long periods of time. Even when I was without Marco or Jamie after we moved to Asia and Europe, I would often make the drive up to Seattle from Portland just to visit her. We could talk politics, religion, or baseball. I liked to write for her and she was one of the three people I always picture in my head when I write this diary.
She traveled all over the world and touched many people. But as kind as she was, she was absolutely impossible to beat at Scrabble. She loved the game and knew how to clean everyone's clock. On our last couple of visits as she closed in on 90 years of age, she had sympathy for me and intentionally tried to lose at Scrabble to me. But she couldn't. Even her half-hearted efforts at beating me ended up scoring too many points.
As we travel around the world, people often ask about Evelyn. Nowhere more so than in Egypt where she is a much beloved saint who blessed so many people.
In the past few months, she took a turn for the worst. First in June, and then she struggled through the next few weeks. We were able to tell her that we loved her in a recent phone conversation and we last were able to visit for Easter of 2010. We had hoped it would not be the last time we could be together. But she passed away peacefully at 10:30PM--fittingly on a Sunday. We will miss her greatly.