Bright and sunny changes


Bright sunny changes. Yes, that’s right.

The day dawned sunny and beautiful with a pronounced gladness. Cousin Amy had lost her husband two months to the hour after Daniel got hurt, now under the same roof where we had grieved with her, we now rejoiced with her. It was her wedding day, God had sent another young man for her.

The day before, we had traveled to Ohio. As we cruised down the highway I couldn’t help but marvel, surely God has given me much more than I deserve! Six precious children, all going with their mom to the wedding. We sang songs, played guessing games, did our best to keep things afloat with little boys ready to run off energy, and snacked along the way. Yes, we keenly missed Daniel and tears were shed, yet the presence of God was unmistakably there.

Now sitting in the church services we sang slow German songs followed by two uncle sharing messages and Amy’s father reading the scriptures. Our uncle by marriage spoke tenderly of the years at home after he lost his dad. “I had the best Father those 10 years,” he said. (Meaning his heavenly father.) He proceeded in performing the ceremony as he joined their hands, pronouncing them as husband and wife.

After they had again taken their seats little Eric was soon snuggled on his mama’s lap, too young to really grasp what had just taken place. During the first year of his life he loved his daddy and those last months before he passed he was old enough to show his excitement when Daddy came home from work, now one day his daddy will be there to great him in heaven, in the meanwhile God has given him another daddy to be there for him.

After the last prayer and German song had ended the children and I walked the short distance to the neighboring shop where long rows of tables were set up to host the guests for the reception. It was warm and inviting, the tables were covered with white plastic and set with square plates, bouquets of tulips across the tables added a spring touch.

My heart warmed when I found my name next to Grandma’s. Grandma had been widowed shortly after I had, and since she lives in Ohio I don’t get to see her as often as I wish I did. She gets more dear to me as the years roll by. Next to me on the other side was Mom then Dad. How thoughtful of them to think of such kindness!

The meal was superb, there was plenty for all 450 guests. Mashed potatoes, stuffing (dressing as we call it), gravy, deep-fried chicken, chive rolls, salad, and for dessert, there were individual ice cream cups and three kinds of pie- peanut butter, raspberry, and strawberry. Mmm. Not only was it completely scrumptious, but it was also attractively served in pretty bowls and platters, which were passed around the tables by the servers who were eager to help with anything they could.

Coffee cups with the names of the new couple, the date, and their theme verse, “As for God, his way is perfect,” were also set across the tables. They were filled with coffee or tea. The mugs were gifts for the guests to take home.

After everyone had eaten, we had what they call a program. We sang songs they had chosen and printed in their wedding pamphlets. This time the songs were all sung in English, at one point Amy’s uncle shared a devotional. I listened with intense interest as he shared of his boyhood days and their family with his mother as a widow for many years. It was a beautiful story with details of God’s steadfast providence through it all.

I kept eyeing the clock, it had been a good day, yet I knew the driver would be coming to pick us up in less then an hour, how could I talk with everyone I had wanted to see yet? There were many faces I did not know, but then also many friends I had not seen for quite some time. My heart warmed to think of all the support these dear people have showed to us since Daniel had passed.

I looked forward to what came next. We all had an opportunity to file through and shake hands with the new couple.The bridal table was attractive, laden with roses, glass dishes, and candles. Next to the table was a corner in memory of Keith. The white roses, a plaque, and candle were a small token of the love and precious memories of Keith, who had been a wonderful husband to Amy before his passing. Of course it was teary for both Amy; her eyes replayed all we went through together. I congratulated her and assured her that there was no doubt God is doing this all for her and that the same God will continue to provide for the children and I. Some feelings are too deep for words, yet there is absolutely no doubt that in God’s perfection: he will continue to work his work in a perfect way, no matter what.

Half an hour later the children were all ready to go and waiting on me as I finished chatting with friends of bygone years. The day was good, it seemed short, how could it be passed already?

With a prayer in my heart for Amy and her new husband, I took my seat, clicked the seat belt in and we were off.

That evening was spent with Daniel’s family in Danville, Ohio and the following day we traveled back home to Illinois.

Fresh strawberry pie

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup clear jel*

2 Tablespoons strawberry jello

2 cups sliced strawberries

Mix first four ingredients in a kettle.

Heat until sugar is dissolved.

Make a paste of clear jel and water and stir into sugar mixture.

Bring to a boil, simmering for a few minutes.

Remove from heat and add jello.

Fold in strawberries when cooled.

Spoon into a baked pie crust and top with whipped topping.

*corn starch will also work but will result in a more cloudy look.

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