(Readers: Today I am blogging my LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY blog on page one instead of on its regular second page. Join me in a little trip of nostalgia.)
Sept. 4, 2012
REMEMBERING MOTHER AND HER MENNONITE FRIENDS
BLOG POST NUMBER EIGHT
Last week was the second anniversary of the home going of my mother to be with “her Jesus and her Joe” (my father, who went to heaven in 1998). Mom was 94 when she passed through Heaven’s gates. I can’t imagine the joy she had as she saw her Savior face to face and then was greeted by her husband of 62 years and other relatives who had gone on before, including her “dear mother,” whom she hadn’t seen in 72 years.
While Mother’s health declined over her last six months, I had some help from Mennonite friends, who came and gave Mom homecare and kept the house in order. Heidi Weaver loved watching over Mom when I had to run errands. And when Mom was gone and no longer needed her worldly possessions anymore, Heidi took bags and bags of Mom’s clothing, purses, and other belongings to a Mennonite re-distribution center that sent items to needy folk in Haiti and Romania.
Sheila Martin, the gal on the right, was, and still is my cleaning gal. For years, she
has come once a month to help me keep the house in order. She also was a tremendous help with Mom, coming several times a week sometimes. She gave Mom my prepared meals and helped her get around. And being a dog lover, Sheila also was, and is, great with our two dogs.
Once in a while, other Mennonite friends would stop by to encourage Mother. When she could no longer go to church, a group of Mennonites (about 25, including children) came on a Sunday evening once a month to have a “church service” with Mom. They sang hymns in four-part harmony without any instruments, and then one of the deacons had a short devotional of encouragement. (I had asked to take pictures of one of their visits, but they asked that I not take any.)
On another occasion, an Amish woman stopped by to visit. She parked the horse and buggy in the yard and brought Mother some delicious sticky buns. I can’t remember the woman’s name because we didn’t know her. She just said that God had told her to come and visit us. (But since I’m a horse lover, I could remember the name of the horse: Rusty!)
So, blended in with the sadness of my mother’s last days are also some very fond memories of my Amish/Mennonite friends and their kindness. Those memories I shall take with me into eternity when one day I’ll meet my Jesus and mother and dad face to face on the other side. I’ll be looking for my Plain Folk friends as well.