“Happy Mother’s Day!” It was Julia, sleepily walking out of the bedroom holding, Gumdrop, her pet miniature poodle. Snuggling up next to me on the couch, we shared a hug. There were mixed feelings as I thought of the day ahead. Daniel had always been sure to show me how much he appreciated having me mother his children. This year, no Daniel.
Soon the younger children were waking. Julia went back to them, there were muffled whispers, “Today is Mother’s Day, you may tell Mom ‘Happy Mother’s Day’,” when you come out. While I was getting breakfast on the table they rounded the corner holding a giant red envelope, singing Happy Mother’s Day. I hugged them all, and opened the card full of love.
That evening there was a special meal planned in honor of the mothers, at the schoolhouse, for the entire church. We were all ushered inside.
In a moment I took it all in. It was all Daniel and I relished doing side by side. The tables gracing pink table cloths, red roses, Dove chocolates, the list goes on. I ushered the children on in with Grandpas and excused myself. Sitting out on the deck I cried my heart out once more. It was all so new, so fresh. Several ladies came and prayed with me, still I wept for the love of my life. I cried out to God, knowing he is my only hope. Finally there was a measure of peace, I gathered myself together and with the Lord at my side and went to join the rest of the people gathered there. My mother-in-law had kindly filled my plate. I caught site of two little smokies, wrapped in bacon, I glanced at them again. Could I eat bacon wrapped smokies without Daniel?
I nibbled a teeny bit on the delicious herbed potatoes, meatballs, salad and even a smoky. Fruit went down better than anything else. Silently talking, to God I again surrendered it all to Him. After some time I felt a deep peace envelop me, and even joy. Doubtless, none but God could possibly have put it there.
After the main course, the married men took turns saying something they appreciate about their mothers (whether their moms were living or not). It proved to be both humorous and motivating for all of us. It made it more real to me that life does move on, I will get one chance in mothering our six children.
Dessert was served next. Pretty glasses graced the most delicious ice cream sundaes made with my all-time favorite home-made chocolate syrup. For the rest of the folks, there were brownies, ice cream and chocolate syrup to go with it.
Next the children were all ushered downstairs. I had no idea what they were up to. In a matter of minutes they filed back up. All 30 of them clutching a red rose and a card. In the back row a friend was holding one year-old Joshua, when I heard him say, “Mama, mama!” as he stretched toward me with his red rose and card. Beaming he came over and handed it to me, saying, “Ose, ose!” My heart melted as I kissed him and held him close.
Now as the children and youth stood in rows they sang three songs, one of mothers and two of heaven. The last one ended with the words, “I am going to a city where the roses never fade ...” How fitting, how true, how precious.
Next they were ready to take their roses to their mothers. My heart ached for the young mom who recently lost her first child to a miscarriage. Though a rose and card was given to her, I knew there is no easy way out. Here my pile of roses grew as the children each brought one to me. Surely children are treasures beyond words, there is much more than the responsibilities, tore-up nights, and squabbles to settle! As Daniel always viewed it, they do add a rich dimension to life.
Now how can I thank you readers enough for all the prayers for us? We can feel God using them as we adjust to life without our beloved father and husband. The many cards, donations and gifts are not taken for-granted. Our next project is responding to all 2,000 of you who took the time to write us and included your return address.
OK, I’ll leave you with this most amazing fruit salad, similar to what we had in our Mother’s Day celebration.
Ultimately Refreshing Fruit Salad
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cups sliced kiwis
1 cup sliced strawberries
2/3 cup Sprite
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp. real lemon
Pinch of salt
Mix all together in a heavy sauce pan. Heat to boil, now add 1/4 cup water mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons permo-flo. Bring to a rolling boil, boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool. Layer 1 cup of each kind of fruit in a pretty bowl, drizzle 3/4 cup glaze on top. If making larger batches, repeat layers til bowl is filled.
Note: Any type of fruit may be used. Also, permo-flo may be purchased in bulk food stores, or cornstarch may be used instead, resulting in a more cloudy look in the glaze.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish house-wife in rural Illinois. She is the third writer of The Amish Cook column since its inception in 1991. Yoder can be reached by writing: The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042.
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