Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Who am I?

As I stood at the top of the Guatemalan mountain, tears streaming down my face, I asked the Lord, “who am I?” All off a sudden I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere or with anyone. I was in my beloved country but felt like I didn’t fit somehow. I was born in Guatemala but I know very little about Guatemala. I still feel like a foreigner in my own country. I want to learn more but I realize it’s a process.

Lake Atitlan, the lake I have to cross to visit my Guatemalan family. 

As I continued to process, I realized traveling through the countries of Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua, as well as Guatemala produced a sense of wondering where is it exactly I belong. I have lived in all of these countries, including Costa Rica, Ecuador and the United States, but don’t feel like I’m at home in any of these countries. At the time, I did feel at home in each of these countries. Sound confusing?  I have friends in each of these countries. I have come to love and appreciate each culture. At the same time, due to the short time lived in each country made for some difficulties.

At the present, Costa Rica is my home. I have put down roots here. The longer I stay the deeper the roots. I have invested time, energy and love into its people. It feels good to call it my HOME.  But I don’t know how long I will live here. God is the only one who knows that.

I have lived in Latin America 30 years. I was born in Guatemala and yet I have a USA passport. When I go through the immigration line in the US I am I US citizen. And when I get to the immigration line in Costa Rica I go with the Costa Rican's because I'm a Costa Rican resident. My first language is English. I love chicken soup with rice. At the same time I love roast beef Manhattan’s.  I wear flip flops outside the home, a taboo in Latin America.  I prefer Spanish worship. I read better in English and yet there are some words better said in Spanish. The Latins talk to me as if I were one of them. The North Americans talk to me as if I were one of them.

I am Latin and proud of being one. 

They say for a third culture person; all these feeling are normal. The fact that one has developed one’s own culture which is a mixture of one’s home culture and adopted culture. In my case, there would be a mixture of several cultures, because each country is different.

I have to be honest, I consider being a third culture person blessing but at the same time very difficult. It has its pros and cons. Pro because I can choose which country I want to be from depending how I feel or what is convenient at the time! Sometimes I speak Spanish, sometime I speak English! Sometimes I tell people I’m 100% Chapina (Guatemalan). Other times I say, “I’m from the United States!” Other times I say I am indigenous. I have also met so many people from all over! I have eaten foods from all over! I have visited ALL kinds of churches! I had so many rich experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world!

Con’s? It’s been difficult to develop long term relationships. It’s been difficult to be away from family, whom I miss terribly. It’s been difficult not being able to spend Christmas and other holidays with family. It’ It’s been difficult to know where to call home at times. It’s been difficult not knowing exactly where I come from. Every time I meet someone new I have to explain why I speak English and look Spanish. I know if I’m Latin I should like coffee, but I didn’t drink it in my baby bottle like the Latin’s did. Yes, I have an accent, but that’s because it’s my second language. Trying to explain to others what it is exactly you do is difficult. I do not live in a grass hut. We do have electricity. I have a car. Etc. Etc.

In reality, I have the best of both words! Something few people have the privilege of living. That day as I stood on top of the mountain in Guatemala, my husband by my side, the Lord reminded me of several things. First, I am his daughter. He has a purpose for me from the beginning. God also used my life to answer one of my parent’s prayers. They wanted a baby girl and there I was! Second, focus on the truth. I belong to him! He adopted me! He is my Father.  Third, we are pilgrims traveling through this earth. Life is short. I need to make my life count. My life has been used to bless the Latin people, even though at times I don’t feel like one of them. Continue to bless and minister to the people I have given you! That is what I heard God saying to me.

My adoption verse.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Gloria's Ways vs God's Ways

A week ago I was anxiously getting ready to leave Costa Rica.  I was feeling ready for a break from ministry and extremely excited about seeing my pregnant sister-in-law, and of course my brother and dad. I had bought some special gifts for the new baby and for dad since he had just celebrated his birthday. My bags were packed ready to go!

I asked my friend Laura to pray for me before I left. In my trips to the States before it just seems that things haven’t always gone like I expected. My last trip, I was suffering from a perforation in my ear. I was in an extreme amount of pain and the time before I was having severe stomach problems. I shared with Laura that I really wanted this trip to be peaceful and that nothing uneventful would happen, except the birth of the baby. So we prayed together. I felt confident.

I cried when I left Costa Rica, knowing that being gone six weeks meant I would miss everything. At the same time, I couldn't wait to be in the United States. I had decided on six weeks because I wanted to make sure I had enough time with the new baby and with my family. My flight left at 6:00pm and I arrived in Ohio at 11:45am.

Little did I know what was happening in Ohio during my travels! My brother and sister-in-law were at the airport to meet me. No sooner had I gotten in the car when my brother asked, “Did you hear about dad?” Immediately, my heart sank. He proceeded to tell me that Dad was admitted to Riverside Hospital and was looking at having bypass surgery at the beginning of the week. I was in shock. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I wasn't sure to cry or scream or what! But I kept myself composed.

How could this be happening! Hadn't I just asked God to give me an uneventful trip where I was going to experience happiness for once! As time went on, I began to realize what all this type of surgery and recovery would entail! I hadn't signed up for this! Since mom’s passing, I've not like hospitals. They give me bad memories and worse yet, this was the same hospital! I felt my anger creep up. Then I felt sadness that dad had to go through this. Then I felt worried for my sister-in-law. Then I felt overwhelmed for my brother. Not to mention confusion, frustration, and a number of other emotions.

That night, on the way home I began to let my emotions show. I thank God for a husband and God that can handle someone like me! I cried out to God and let Him know I was NOT happy! How could he let this happen NOW! Couldn't He have picked a better time!!! I knew I was extremely tired and needed a good night’s rest and that that could have an effect on how I was doing. But either way, I was pretty upset with God!

After a few mornings of going to the hospital and being with dad, I pulled out a book, He Loves Me. I had started reading it during my travels and was anxious to continue. Sometimes we think when something “bad” happens to us, it’s because God doesn't love us. And then when something “good” happens to us then it means God loves us. It’s like pulling the pedals off the flower and saying, “He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me, He loves me not…” We tend to gauge His love on our circumstances. Sadly, this is how I often place my trust. I tend to trust him much more during the times things are going well for me. The problem is that my perception is often not reality. God’s ways are much higher than my ways. Even though life doesn't treat me like I’d like it to treat me doesn't mean God loves me less. God’s desire is that my relationship grows so deep and my trust becomes so secure that I wouldn't desire any other thing.

So the other morning I told God, “I’m willing to go through this if it means that my relationship with you will be ever stronger and deeper.” It’s when I surrender to God’s will that God can release His power through me and so much more.

I also started looking at the positives of this particular circumstance.  1) I got here just in time, 2) DeLynn has been with me (themoral support)(He leaves Monday), 3) I had already planned to stay until the end of October, enough time for the major part of the recuperation time for Dad, 4) We found a wonderful rehab place where our family knows will help dad recuperate faster, 5) I am enjoying seeing my family much more than planned, 6) I am able to be with dad so my brother can concentrate on his new baby (still waiting). I am sure there will be much more positives and praises as time goes on. God’s timing IS perfect and I CAN trust Him with it. Praise the Lord.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Story Is Not Over

As I struggled to get my words out, I thought to myself, “not again!” It was all too familiar. My body felt like it was shutting down and my mind was taking over. It’s amazing what comes out in your most vulnerable moments when you feel you have no control of what is going on around you. This is how it felt for me this past Tuesday morning while experiencing my panic attack.

If you have been following me on my blog, you will know that panic attacks are something that I have struggled with for many reasons. You will also know that God has been healing me of my panic attacks. Obviously, I’d like the healing to come quicker, but God’s timing is perfect.
One might think, how can you talk about this openly? I do because I want to give testimony of God’s power. In my weakness, God IS made strong.

A few weeks ago, my friend, had to make the extremely and excruciating decision of what to do with her 1 year and 9 month old son. Her son came into this world through unfortunate circumstances that were beyond her control. I’ve watched and cried as I’ve seen her struggle in caring for her son. She loves him with her whole being. He brings her SO much joy and has changed her life. But it’s during the difficult moments she desires to give her son everything but simply can’t, especially some of the basic necessities a growing baby needs. So what should she do? I counseled and prayed for her. I offered to care for him.  Her mother offered to care for him, but that meant they would have to live in two separate countries. What should she do? How long would it be until she would see her son again? She couldn’t sleep or eat but she knew she had to make a decision soon for the well-being of her son. I waited to hear her decision. After two weeks, she told me she decided to send him to her mother to care for him. I felt such sadness because I loved her son so much but I also made the decision that I wanted to respect her decision as Dylan’s mom.

Last Saturday, I spend my last evening with him, just him and I. They were moments I will never forget. I took lots of pictures and tried to enjoy the moment.  I heard him say “mamaw” one last time. I prayed for him and blessed him and he fell asleep in my arms until his mommy came to take him. 

Last Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling under the weather, very under the weather. It was my turn to help at El Nido, so I thought I would go over and at least get things started. But as the morning wore on, I felt worse and worse. I remember at one point, three people asking me questions at the same time and feeling very confused and frustrated that I wasn’t feeling good enough to help them. I started feeling overwhelmed, especially when I was asked to look for a letter written for a client in my computer. It was a letter that had been written by one of our counselors asking the Costa Rican children’s services to take into account that one of our mothers has been attending parenting classes and was really making an effort to be a good mother. You see, the children’s services have already taken five of her children, and she is fighting and trying to do everything she can so they don’t take her latest baby girl away.

In the middle of this caos, there came a moment when I asked my daughter, Carmelinda, to go get my husband, DeLynn to come help me find the letter for our client. She left right away. It was probably 2-3 minutes later DeLynn came. By this time, I felt SO bad physically, I looked at him with sternness in my eyes and said, “Take me home, NOW.” I was feeling an urgency to get out of there quickly. He helped me stand up and helped me walk out the door of El Nido.
Little did I know what was coming next. I made it to the first gate and suddenly collapsed in Delynn’s arms. I remember saying, “I’m having a panic attack.” He carried me to the car and took me home.

During a panic attack, one’s mind takes over and reality becomes dimmed. I personally think it’s the enemies attack on that person to try to believe his lies. One starts saying things aren’t true, as if things have happened already, or going to the extreme of ones thoughts. This is where DeLynn comes in. He starts praying for me and counteracts lies with the true. The truth is what sets me free. The enemy hates the truth.  Tuesday morning, the enemy said several things such as, “They took the baby away from her!” “They took Dylan away from me” to “they took me away from my mother.”

As I’ve processed all this, God has spoken truth and that’s what I want to focus on here. TRUTH. The truth is that the baby girl has NOT been taken away from her mother. We still have the chance to help her with the letter and with our prayers. There is still HOPE. The second truth is that even though Dylan lives far away, doesn’t mean I can’t visit him or talk to him on the phone.
But what affect me the most was when I said, “They took me away from my mother.” There is a lot of emotions and pain in this statement. I believe this is the root of where this panic attack came from. The enemy wanted me to believe that  when I was taken from my biological mother there was no hope. THAT IS NOT TRUE! Here is the picture God gave me yesterday of what REALY happened!

I saw myself wrapped in a blanket as a tiny infant. My biological mother was holding me. He gently took me from my mother and walked a few steps to where my adopted mother was waiting and gave me to her. Between the steps of my biological mother to my adoptive mother Jesus was holding me. There was no fear; the picture I saw was FULL of PEACE!

Psychologically speaking, the hippocampus of an infant will recall this event as very traumatic. So even if I don’t remember the circumstances surrounding the events of my adoption, somewhere that memory has been stored as a painful memory. The enemy would like me to focus on that pain. But God wants to heal that pain and give me HIS perspective.

In order for Him to fulfill his plan for my life, He had to physically remove me from where I started so He could accomplish His work in order to write the end of my story. And that story is not over yet!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Chapter 14-Held in the Grip of Love

Quite honestly, I've been having a really hard time thinking of the next chapters of my story, maybe because, for me, the most difficult hadn't even occurred yet.

Even though I had a year to prepare emotionally for mom’s passing away, at the funeral, I was still in shock. It was so final. I tried crying but couldn't. I just felt sad and couldn't believe she was actually gone. In some ways, it was all a blur. I remember Shiloh Mennonite Church was full. I wore black as a symbol of my sadness.   A lot of mom’s sisters came to the funeral. It was nice to have them there but I wasn't in the mood for much talk.

Dad planned the funeral. He put a lot of thought into it. It was given in English and translated into Spanish for the Hispanic people present. Dad picked some worship songs sung in English and Spanish. He asked several people from different walks of mom’s life to talk about her. DeLynn talked on behalf of the family. Pablo Kauffman gave the sermon. David Villalta, pastor of the Hilliard Hispanic Church gave a reflection. A representative from RMM and EMM each shared. Uncle Jose closed in prayer.

Everyone was dismissed and our immediate family was left to say goodbye. How does one say goodbye to mom? I still don’t know. In some ways I don’t think you do since she continues to live on in my heart. She passed on to me so many things one doesn't ever forget her.

The burial was scheduled right after funeral. But plans changed since the hold wasn't big enough for the casket! Yea, kind of funny! So everyone was invited to each lunch together and then we had the burial following.

Some of the people that were there that really made an impression on me was my best friend, Rhoda. Her and her husband happen to be home of furlough from China. After the funeral we were able to talk. It was a privilege to have her there. The other person I was privileged to have there was a childhood friend, Dorcus from Oregon.  At that time she lived in northern Ohio so she made the trip. It was so nice to see her. At the viewing, a long time friend of the family, Jim Lowe came. As I saw him come into the sanctuary, I couldn't believe he came. He himself was fighting cancer and was in a very fragile state and could hardly talk. I felt so loved to have him there.

After everything was over, the Gingrich family stayed around. I would have liked to have stayed but was scheduled to fly back to Costa Rica the next day. I hadn't planned it that way, but God had. It was time for me to go back and take care of my own family, or better said, let them care for me. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chapter 13-Held in the Grip of the Love of God

July 8, the morning after mom passed away,  I wrote in my journal,

Psalm 65:4,5
“What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts,
What joy awaits us inside your holy Temple.”
“You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
O God our Savior,
You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.”

JOY. Ironically, this is the word that comes to mind this morning. This is the verse God gave me this early Saturday morning. God chose to bring mom near to him last night about 9:30. She now lives with Him in His Holy courts. Amazing. Overwhelming. It gives me joy to think that she’s with HIM! Wow! God did answer so many prayers. Too many to count. Again I feel amazed, overwhelmed and full of joy! Wow! He is our hope. He is MY hope. My hope in something I haven’t seen yet; the hope that I have that someday I will see mom again. He is hope for not only me but for the world. That’s what mom’s vision and life was for, for the world. I want to be part of that, hope for others, in that I share the love of God with others all over the world. Just like mom. She not only shared it but lived it. What an amazing woman! I could go on and on and on and on about her life.
Mom meant SO much to me and I will love and miss her forever. The pain of losing her is unbearable. She was my mother, my best friend, and my mentor. It would take pages upon pages to describe what these words encompass. She left me a legacy that I want to continue with my own family and in my own life. I thank God for choosing my mom to be MY MOM. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chapter 12-Held in the Grip of the Love of God

Mom’s ups and downs continued. Two weeks after I arrived in Ohio, mom seemed to be very well! She even played scrabble with her sister Lovina, who can come for a visit! My return ticket was for July 13. I felt confused as to what God was doing. I was expecting to see mom get worse, but instead we saw her getting better! She also went to church with dad and shocked everybody! I don’t want my readers to think I wanted mom to die, not at all! But my emotions were anticipating a lot of horrible things to happen to mom before she died and our family began to wonder if God had healed her!

One evening, Carmelinda and mom had a race. Louie pushed mom’s wheel chair and Carmelinda went on her scooter. It was really cute! It was such a beautiful evening made with lovely memories.

One afternoon, Carmelinda was reading to mom. It was the book, Clifford the Big Red Dog. Carmelinda started reading when all of a sudden in a very quiet voice, almost a whisper, mom started reading to Carmelinda! Neither one of could believe it! Carmelinda just looked at her and looked at me and then smiled! It was amazing! It was wonderful to hear her!

On 4th of July, my Uncle Glenn and Aunt Arlene, along with their daughter, Glenda and her daughter, came to visit us.  It was such a nice visit! But the memory I have is when it came time to watch the Plain City fireworks.  We all got ready to sit outside behind mom and dad’s house. We took our lawn chairs and sat just outside dad’s office window. Dad was getting mom ready for bed. Mom couldn't talk but somehow communicated to Dad that she wanted to see the fireworks too! So dad put her in her wheel chair and took her over to the office window and the two of them watched the fireworks along with us!

July 8, 2006 I wrote in my journal…
Psalms 65:4,5
“What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts,
What joy awaits us inside your Holy Temple.”
“You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
O God our Savior,
You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.”

JOY, ironically this is the word that comes to mind this early Saturday morning. God chose to bring mom near to him last night about 9:30pm. She now lives with him in His Holy courts! Amazing! Overwhelming! It gives me joy to think that she’s with HIM! Wow! God did answer SO many prayers. Too many to count! He is my hope. My hope in something I have not yet seen. The hope I have that someday I will see mom again. He is hope not only for me but for the world. That’s what mom’s vision for life was, for the world! I want to be a part of that, hope for others, in that I share the love of God with others all over the world, just like mom. She not only shared it but lived it. What an amazing woman!

I’m still in shock. I feel sick to my stomach. My chest literally aches. I feel numb. My body is tired from lack of sleep. I slept 4 hours last night.

Let me share about my last day with mom. It was a Friday morning, Carmelinda, Dad and I took care of mom. I remember her sitting at the kitchen table watching her do her hand exercises with a small rubber ball. I remember trying to encourage her to keep squeezing the ball as hard as she could! Once Carmelinda came around, mom livened up! I remember kissing mom good bye on her forehead. I also remember giving her a hug. Her body seemed so frail.

Little did I know when I left later that morning to visit my friend, Lynette that would be the last time I would speak to her. I had plans to visit my friend for the afternoon and then take Carmelinda on a date, which was our custom every Friday night. Friday nights were a good time for us to go on a date since mom and dad held a Spanish bible study in their home with a few friends from church.  So after going to the mall and eating a yummy Auntie Ann’s pretzel, we were headed to Wallmart. But as we pulling into the parking lot I told Carmelinda I was tired and didn't feel like it. Carmelinda siad, "Yea, lets go home and watch Princess Diaries and say good night to Grandma." So we headed home.

Meanwhile, at home, mom and dad were having a Bible study sitting around the table. Mom joined them. During the study, dad noticed mom was not acting herself. So he finished the study and ended quickly. As he helped mom walk to her bed she was having trouble breathing. Mom barely made it to her bed.

Upon arriving to mom and dad’s house, the hospice nurse, Mary, was pulling in too.  I asked Mary what she was doing at our house. She said dad and Louie had called her. She went running into the house.  Carmelinda and I followed. As I walked into the house, Louie greeted me and told us that she was having trouble breathing. I wasn't sure what to do with Carmelinda. And honestly, I’m still not sure I did the right thing! But we called our friend, Emily, who was working at DerDutchman that evening and was coming off her shift, to see if she could take Carmelinda. I wasn’t sure if I wanted Carmelinda to see all that was happening, since I just wasn't sure what was going to happen!

Everything happened so fast! Too fast! All along I tried to prepare myself for this moment, but when I was face to face with death, I didn't know how to cope! As I walked into mom and dad’s room, mom was struggling. She had her hand on her heart, which made us think maybe she was having pain in her heart.  It was SO hard to see. I felt SO hopeless. I was glad Mary was there. She gave mom morphine to help her relax. But the next thing I hear her saying is, “It’s time to say good bye.” Good bye??? I wasn't ready to do that! Not yet! I was in shock! As I said, “Mom, I release you to Jesus, go to Jesus. Thank You. Bye. I love you.” I couldn't even believe what I was saying! It was all so serial. From one moment to the next, she was gone.

As we watched her go, God gave me the words, “I have fought the battle, I have kept the faith.” Life wasn’t easy for her. She lost many of her loved ones already, but in all of her disappointments in life she kept the faith. She was truly a woman of God, one that many admired and looked up to. For me, she was my hero, my spiritual hero, my mentor, my best friend. My MOM.

As mom laid there, I was drawn to her hands. They were wrinkly and still warm. But a rush of thankfulness came upon me thinking about all the countless times her hands served me, comforted me, and loved me, and of course, so many others. I couldn’t stop crying as I thought about this. God had sent me such a wonderful mom to care for me all these years!

We had Emily bring Carmelinda over to the house right away. Carmelinda took it really hard. She cried like crazy and wanted to see Grandma right away. She was upset with me because she wanted to be with us. It was hard to listen to her and watch her. As I think about it, it makes me incredibly sad. Carmelinda laid beside mom and put her arm around her and told her good bye. We were all crying. Dad suggested we pray. We did. Carmelinda’s prayer was the most beautiful and so simple, “Thank You God that Grandma can walk and talk now and that I get to see her again in heaven!”

Later that evening, the pastors and their wives from Shiloh Mennonite Church came to express their condolences. We spent time praying and singing around mom. It was a special moment for me. I felt supported and loved by them, since they have been people in my life that have been there for me and were definitely there for mom and dad. So thank you, Pablo and Judy, Jon and Dawn, Arnold and Linda, and Jerry and Denise.

God answered my prayer in that I was able to be with mom when she went from this earth to be with her beloved Father. I am so grateful for this gift. It was a day and a moment I will never forget. Someday I will be there too. But for now, I just want to be faithful and at least half the mom my mom was to me! I thank God for the example He gave me.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chapter 11-Held in the Grip of the Love of God

October 17,2013

Flying to the States for the last time to see mom seemed so serial. I couldn't believe I was going home to say, "good-bye" to MOM. I knew we had about four to six weeks with her.  I was terribly sad. We decided that Carmelinda was to go with me. She was now almost 6 years old. I tried hard to prepare her to what we were going to Grandpa's house for.

I was SO glad I took her. She was a joy to have around! God used her once again as a healing balm for our family. She was so sweet with mom. She enjoyed wheeling mom around on the wheel chair. She would hold her hand while the therapist gave her leg and feet messages.  She enjoyed reading to her.  I could tell mom loved every minute of it!

Carmelinda loved praying for mom. She would ask God to heal mom so that she and her could walk and talk again. She asked my Aunt Susie that was visiting, when Grandma was going to talk again. Aunt Susie told her that when she sees Jesus she will be able to talk again. Aunt Susie told her the story of my Uncle Mike and Grandpa Gingerich, others who have gone ahead. Aunt Susie is such a good story teller, Carmelinda must have caught on to the excitement because Carmelinda exclaimed, “I want to go too!”

During the first several weeks after mom came home, she had two seizures. This was expected due to the tumor growing. For Carmelinda’s sake, I was glad she didn’t see these happen.
The next weeks were an up and down emotional roller coaster ride. Mom had her good days and her not so good days. At times she talked and walked more to where we wondered if God was healing her! It was confusing for me. I expected her to decline rapidly over the weeks, but that didn’t happen.

God was SO merciful to her and gave us some wonderful memories with her, memories I will cherish forever!

On one Sunday, Carmelinda and I took care of her while dad went to church. We were able to sing and read to her. Carmelinda was so funny and cute and told Grandma stories.

On Father’s Day, we had a special lunch and that night we had a very special surprise for mom. The Spanish church came with their guitars and sang for mom. There were nine men with nine guitars that sang. The house was packed with Latin’s!  It was SO beautiful. The Spanish church looked at mom as a “spiritual mom.” I believe it was a sneak peak into heaven for mom!

June 19, was mom’s 67th birthday. Louie and I bought her 67 roses. They were beautiful! She also got all kinds of other flowers. Sandy Gordon brought us lunch. She brought fish since she knew mom loved fish! Dad gave mom a very sentimental gift. He gave her a new nightgown and then a photo plaque that had two sides. One the one side was a picture of them. The picture was of them standing in front of the house, both with their straw hats. Dad with his Amish hat that was given to him and mom with her cute straw hat that has a scarf around it! On the other side of the plaque, Dad had printed out a poem that he had written mom about two years prior at a Marriage Encounter. He said he refined the poem and decided to give it to her. Here it is:

I love you for your single-handed
Mattress relocation;
But I promise you again my love
In every situation.
I love you yet when you’re too feeble
To even comb your hair;
When you’ve spent your faithful efforts
With no energies to spare;
When you sit beside the window
With a far-off look in your eyes
Recalling by gone days when
We shot across the skies
In quest of sweet adventures
As we took the mighty word
To humble huts and
Mansions rich
For those who hadn’t heard;
And prayed and preached and
Defying cold despair
In hopeful expectation of
God’s intervention there;
I’ll love you to the very end
Of our pilgrimage together,
And hope the Lord will let us just
Be married forever and ever.

Written by Elam Stauffer
To Doris Stauffer
Refined 6-19-00

As mom read the poem, she cried. We all did. My thoughts were thoughts of sadness and wondering if this would be her last birthday. It was so bitter sweet.