The morning dawned as all other mornings. It was cool, in fact it was downright chilly. My mind endlessly traveled to 13 years ago. It had been sunny, with temperatures in the mid-70s. We could not possibly have had a day more perfect for our wedding.
Our hearts flooded with awe as we watched the shop fill with 400 guests who had come to share in our joy as the long-awaited moment was coming; we were to be joined as husband and wife. It was too good to be true, or so it felt.
Daniel had arrived early that morning. I was comforted through and through, knowing that I will not again have to part from him, our long-distance dating was behind us, and there was not even another day to wait. The time had come. Daniel was dressed in his new white shirt, black pants, and matching vest and mutza (suit). My light blue dress, which I had carefully made months before, was finally being worn.
I distinctly remember the two of us stepping in the walk-in cooler to get the red roses and placing them on our bridal table.
Life was complete beyond measure and much more than I deserved.
Now, I relived the memories and they hurt, they stung, they comforted me, they gave me a sense of knowing God knows. It was a Sunday morning, I headed for the closet. Should I or shouldn’t I? I hadn’t worn it for years. Why not? Wouldn’t it be a token of the love still in my heart for the man of my dreams? With a lump in my heart, and more love than it could hold I reached to the back of my closet. Yes, I would do it.
As I got ready for Sunday school, more memories flooded back of how carefully I got ready that morning 13 years before.
Stepping out in the hallway I explained to the children how I wore this dress when I married Daddy.
“Mom, can you still wear it?!” they asked in disbelief.
Smiling I responded, “Yes, I’m 33 so I’m not growing anymore!”
In a sense I felt like I was drifting back in another world as I got everyone ready to go… has life changed so much? Do we really have six children for me to love and care for? As I walked out the door I felt like I was kind of like jumping off a mountain. I did not know what the day would hold or how God would care for us, but one thing I did know is that God would absolutely completely provide for us.
At Sunday school we sang several songs that were especially meaningful to us, including the German version of “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be.” We were deeply blessed by the love and support on all sides as kind words were spoken and encouragement was offered.
Daniel’s parents had invited us to their house for pancakes and homemade kielbasa after our services. As we finished up our meal, we hashed memories and digested the reality of today. When it was time to do the dishes, my mother-in-law sweetly said, “You did not help with the dishes 13 years ago and you don’t need to help today!” It was a little token that meant a lot.
The afternoon passed swiftly, thanks to Julia for playing with the children while I took a refreshing nap.
In the evening we had some drop-in guests including a couple from our church who a year ago married in our shop where we had gotten married 12 years before. Our hearts were warmed as they brought a scrap-sheet of pictures of us as a family someone had taken on the day of their wedding. Perhaps the picture that melted my heart the most was Daniel sitting in church with a little boy sitting on either side of him. Hmm. Things change; love does not. And, God knows and sees exactly how much it hurts, and much more still, he has ways of healing and restoring in ways we could never tell or imagine.
Daniel’s Sunday noon specialty was pancakes and waffles. He would make them while I changed the little boys’ white shirts. This recipe can be used for either pancakes or waffles.
Daniel’s homemade waffles:
2 eggs, beaten
1½ cups milk
½ cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Whisk wet ingredients together, then mix in dry and stir until combined.
Don’t over-combine after adding dry ingredients
Also, Daniel has discovered that it works best to brown the waffles for one minute and 30 seconds, with an additional one minute and 45 seconds on medium heat on the second side.
It toasts them to a nice, golden brown.
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