This week was like no other in my life. Exactly a year ago our lives changed forever. My husband, Daniel was called home to Jesus.
I was grateful to Daniel’s brothers and his sister from Danville, Ohio who offered to come over that time. When they arrived on Sunday night I felt a sense of comfort. They were here to face it with me. Why, I can only imagine how it is for all of them to miss their brother and having all that sadness coming back in full force when visiting the Daniel Yoder home with no Daniel to cheer on their arrival and make remarks throughout our time together, of all the good memories in the making.
We had the common ache, though we were not in exact points of connection with him. We all hurt and we all knew too well what tears are about. The following day was Monday, the Yoder brothers started on frame work for a roof for our deck and also helped Dad with his new project of building their house.
After supper the children played with the supervision of my mother and Owen, while Daniel’s siblings, their partners, and mom and dad talked of bygone days with Daniel and wiped tears. In the end dad and each of the brothers prayed. I was comforted once more.
The following day was the one-year mark. In the morning I took the quarter mile mile walk to the woods where Daniel got hurt. Scenes replayed in my mind of me dashing through the briers to get to hubby’s side. There he lay. No, I will never forget. Now I knelt by the same spot I did on the cloudy morning, a year before, as I tried to comfort and encourage him that it will be alright. At the time I had been unsure if he even realized I was there. A friend, who had also been there that morning, later told me how he noticed a difference in Daniel after I arrived. Though all is well in heaven, I was comforted in knowing that he knew I was there.
Now, gazing across the chestnut grove on one side, and woods on the other, I took it all in. A year has actually passed; not only that, God provided for us each moment of every day. Yes, there were those times it felt like too much, yet God continually provided as the shattered pieces were placed by his feet. At the present, I was glad to have Daniel’s dear sister Mary join me. We had some precious moments together before heading back to the house where both my family and Daniel’s family were gathering for lunch.
Lunch was prepared and served by church family. Support does make a difference, to me it’s the hands and feet of Jesus. As we finished eating another bouquet of flowers arrived, bringing extra warmth and love.
After lunch we all walked to the graveyard for a time of singing, recollecting memories and praying. Being there with loved ones a year later brought torrents of pain I did not expect, but then isn’t that another step toward deeper wholeness and healing? Isn’t that what we all so long for? As we walked down the gravel road toward home, an hour and a half later, I knew it was worth it. There was a sense of relief and being ready to face life again.
Bidding farewell to Daniel’s siblings, traveling back to Ohio wasn’t easy, but as one of them expressed, “God won’t forsake you now.” True, why would he leave us now, after a year of so tenderly caring for us all?
For the children, it was an intense day. My heart throbbed on their behalf, yet I knew if I stop with only an aching heart, it won’t help them. Again, I gave it back to God, who will provide for their broken hearts. Physically and mentally I was fatigued, yet God was there. That night Daniel’s brother John and his family, who live five miles from here, stayed for the night. We were all thankful for their presence, especially with more storms systems moving through the area.
The following day I took a nap while my sister-in-law, Virginia, watched the children. I slept soundly for sometime, then in a half-awake state, I felt a deep sense of peace and heart healing sweep over me. It felt so good, it was soothing beyond description. When I awoke I remembered some of it. I wondered about it; as the day continued there was no doubt that truly a deep transformation had taken place. How unworthy and grateful I felt — I had not even been praying at the time, God simply gave it! There is nothing left but to thank the Lord. Once more I simply thank all of you for your prayers and support. Prayers do work!
Herbed potatoes were among the dishes served on the day marking a year since Daniel passed. They were delicious, served along side chicken and tossed salad. They are tasty and quite simple to make, feel free to tweak the ingredients to strike your fancy.
4 medium potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄2 cup Parmesan cheese
5 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
Peel or scrub potatoes and cut into eighths length wise. Place them in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour over the potatoes and stir until evenly covered, spreading into a single layer. Sprinkle seasoning, cheese and bacon over the potatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and stir until all wedges are well coated with butter again. Return to oven and bake another 30 minutes or until tender. Serves 4.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427