Elisabeth Vreugdenhil – van Santen go to meet her 100th great-grandchild

Elisabeth Vreugdenhil van Santen (K XI f)
By: Jon Dykstra
Photo: Bryan Grim

Half October 92-year-old Elizabeth Vreugdenhil-van Santen met her name sake Elizabeth Grim – her 100th great grandchild!

However, it was rather a challenge to hold her Canadian great granddaughter with great grandma just over the border in Washington state and the US/Canadian border closed due to COVID-restrictions.

So if the baby couldn’t cross over to the US, and Grandma couldn’t come to Canada, there was only one thing to do: meet halfway! Like thousands of others whose families have been torn apart by the border closure, Canadians and Americans brought their camping chairs and set them up on either side of that borderline. Some umbrellas were also brought along, Grandma Vreugdenhil was sitting comfortably and then the sleeping baby was put in her arms for a beautiful photo session. Even the local newspaper, The Lynden Tribune, came to get some photos that they later shared on their front page.

Psalm 128 speaks of the fact that it is a blessing to see our children’s children, so what a blessing it is to see your children’s children…and a hundred times over! Blessings upon blessings upon blessings! Whether you know this great lady or not, God’s people can share in her joy!

Baby Elizabeth was responsible for the evening things between the great-grandchildren, making it exactly 50 girls, to match the 50 boys, but since then the girls have taken the lead with great-grandchild #101! There’s also a near-perfect US/Canadian split, with the Canucks at just one, 51-50. Another fun statistic: Grandma Vreugdenhil has an average of 5 new great-grandchildren a year since she got her first gift 20 years ago.

And in addition to the wonderful family history, baby Elizabeth was christened in the same dress as her great-grandmother 92 years ago. As her father put it, “that dress has ‘seen’ the sign and seal for over 100 years.”