Wednesday, November 12, 2014


As you can see, we had some changes in John and Sarah's wedding.  Everything was set for wedding on Elmer and my anniversary, November 14th.  John came home early from their Saturday date to tell us that Sarah's Father was in the hospital.  We asked what was wrong and John wasn't sure.  He said a police officer came over to a friend's house and told Sarah she should get home.  John took Sarah home.  Sarah's Father was on the way to the hospital.  Her Mother was waiting for a driver.  The children decided that with Sarah being the oldest, she should go to the hospital with their Mother. As Sarah's Mother and Father have little children, Sarah's other sister and brother stayed with them.  John came home to leave the horse and buggy to get a driver and go to the hospital.  After going to the shanty phone and calling Bishop Eli, we went with John to the hospital.

Along with Sarah, and her Mother we waited to get the some news at the hospital.  Bishop Eli came.  Sarah's Mother told him what happened.  First, you have to understand, that like Englishers - Amish are different too.  He is much stricter in his home than Elmer and I are in ours.  His views are different on some things than ours.  Anyway he had not been feeling well.  Elmer had been helping on his farm and told him he should go to the doctor.  Sarah's Mother told him.  I told him.  He was not happy that Sarah's Mother and I were telling him what to do.  Anyway, he would not go to the doctor.  Sarah's Mother said he finally made an appointment for this coming Monday.  But on Saturday evening, he was not feeling well, so she told him to lie down.  As she was doing dishes she heard something drop in their bedroom.  She went in and found him gasping and trying to talk, but she could not understand him.  Right off, she knew he had a stroke.  She sent one of her children to a neighbors to call the ambulance.

When the doctor finally came out he said that Sarah's Father had a massive stroke and was on life support.  Amish do not approve of life support.  Sarah's Mother had not asked that they put him on that, the hospital just did. We Amish feel that the life support machine is man's will.  Without the machine is God's will.   They did not feel that Sarah's Father would be on this earth much longer.  On the way to his room, it hit Sarah's Mother that if her husband passed, John and Sarah could not marry.  She asked Bishop Eli, if her husband was still alive the next morning to please marry John and Sarah at church.

Our way is that when someone close passes like a Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Husband, Wife or Grandparent passes that you must dress in black for a year.  Some Amish, it is six months.  During that time you are not allowed to date or marry.  So, if her Father passed, they could not marry for a year.

Now Bishop Eli had never been asked to do that before. He never had this situation before. He did not know if he could do that.  So after going and seeing Sarah's Father he came out in the hall and borrowed Elmer's cell phone.  We told Eli, we will abide by what ever he decided and so did Sarah and John.  But Sarah and John were not taking it well.  They hadn't thought of that.  Neither of them wanted to wait a year to get married, but they didn't want to say anything to Bishop Eli.

Eli called a couple of other Bishop's to get their opinion. Two of the Bishops had been in this situation and married the couple.  One had never had this situation.   He called all the ministers and deacons telling them of Sarah's Father's illness and asking them to come to the hospital.  He went in a seat alone reading in his Bible and praying.  We set down and prayed with John and Sarah.  Elmer and I did not want to influence Eli in his decision.  He is our Bishop, but he is also our friend.  We did not want him to make a decision because we were his friends and Elmer kindly told Eli that. Eli said Sarah's Mother asked not us, so her understood.

We were all taking turns going in to stay with Sarah's mother and Father.  One of us would come out, someone else would go in.  People had been gathering at the hospital.  When the deacons and ministers arrived Eli had them see Sarah's Father, hear her Mother's plea and had a meeting in the coffee room.  Still no decision was made.  Who finally settled it was when Sarah's Grandfather came in.  He was Sarah's Father's Father.  After seeing is son, Eli asked him to come with him, he wanted to talk with him.  Eli was sorry and explained the situation, at this time, to him and wanted to know what he thought.  Sarah's Grandfather asked Bishop Eli to please marry John and Sarah tomorrow at church, if his son had not passed.

As word of Sarah's Father got around among the Amish, so did the news of their wedding the next day.  Before service on Sunday, Bishop Eli took John and Sarah into a room and spoke with them.  When they came out, they sat in the front row with John on the men's side and Sarah on the ladies side but they were just across the isle from each other. Sarah wore a light blue long dress with a black praying kap and blue apron that she had made for the wedding.  John wore the church clothes that I had made for him. After Bishop Eli, the ministers and deacons came out and held the service Bishop Eli explained about Sarah's Father and why he was performing the wedding.  He asked John and Sarah to come forward and had the wedding ceremony with John and Sarah answering the questions.  Then Eli announced them two as one.

Sarah's Mother, sisters, brother, Grandparents and most of their relatives attended the wedding.  While they were there, one of her aunt's and uncle were at the hospital with her Father. Of course, Elmer and I plus our family was there.    Instead of everyone sitting and serving they had a walk through dinner.  John and Sarah were the first through, Elmer and I were second, Sarah's Mother was next.  After that it was Bishop Eli, ministers, deacons, older men, men, boys, older ladies, ladies, and girls.  Some of the people bought gifts which went in one of the bedrooms at the peoples home where church was.  After eating we had singing and prayer.  The prayers were both for Sarah and John plus for her Father.  Sarah and John went upstairs with some of their friends to open the wedding gifts.  When they came back, there was more singing and do to Sarah's Father we left to go to the hospital.  Elmer packed their weddings gifts into one of the driver cars and had them taken to Sarah and John's house. On the way to the hospital, we wondered how the ladies made a dinner like that so fast.

Elmer and I went to the hospital and were there when they took Sarah's Father off life support.  We stayed for a couple of hours.  Sarah and John came to our house at meal time.  They didn't want to leave, but Sarah's Mother made them go.  After dinner, Elmer and I had them follow us to their  house.  Elmer and I went in first to light the lamps for them.  They couldn't believe their house.  When they opened their bedroom door, Sarah couldn't talk.  She couldn't believe the bedroom set in there.  On their dinner table in the kitchen was a cell phone with a note from Jean and David plus a set of keys to the house.  Jean and David had a set of keys to the house as David did some work for us in the house.  They had heard of Sarah's Father and brought their cell phone for Sarah and John to have in case her Mother or family wanted to contact them.  Before they bought it over, the asked and got permission from Bishop Eli.

Sarah called the hospital and the shanty phone giving them their temporary phone number.  I felt bad because Sarah's Mother and I hadn't gotten food for them until Sarah opened one of her cupboards.  They were filled.  So was her pantry.  Even the refrigerator.  Jean also had on the note that there were two drawers full of meat at their freezer storage.  Who the food came from we may never know, but we know fellow Amish friends and relatives filled their home with food.

One of Sarah's thoughts was she didn't want her Father to pass on their wedding day and he didn't.  It was Monday morning as they were getting ready for their driver that Sarah's Mother called and asked them to get to the hospital to say good by to her Father.  When the drive arrived, they left.  He passed at about 5:00 AM on Monday morning.  His wife, Father, children and Bishop Eli were in his room when he passed.  Elmer and I got there right after he had passed.  We all prayed by him and for his family.  Elmer said he would take care of making the casket.

Elmer is not the best at making things with wood. He can build a barn or a house or a room, but he can't make anything that small very well.  He was going to ask Jean's David, if he would, but in the driver car on the way home Elmer's cell phone went off and it was David saying he heard what happened and would make the casket.  So David, Michael, Edward, Thomas made most of it, but John and Elmer went over to nail in a board.  John and Elmer just nailing a board in is a way of showing they care.  As he is Sarah's Father, John's Father-in-law it was family having a hand in the making of the casket.

Sarah's Father came from the funeral parlor on Tuesday.  Sarah's Mother and another lady, maybe Sarah   bathed him, dressed him and he lays in the coffin in their living room.  People come throughout the day and evening.  A few couples will even sit by the coffin all night so the family may rest.  Neighbors and friends are doing all the chores on the farm.  Ladies take care of the house and men take care of the animals, barn, and whatever chores need to be done outside.

John and Sarah were going to stay at Sarah's Mother until after the funeral, but her Mother made them go home to their home.  Someone is even over at John's farm doing his chores as he is Sarah's husband.

I guess that is all I can tell you at this time.  Elmer asked Eli if he would marry a couple like he did John and Sarah, if they were another family.  Eli said yes, if the deacons, ministers and someone in the family agreed like Sarah's Grandfather.  He also had to feel at ease when he prayed like he did with John and Sarah.

Trust God's Wisdom,



Tom said...

A sad yet wonderful story of caring. Thank you for sharing. Tom The Backroads Traveller

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,
Thank you,

Countryside Reflections said...

Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful, caring, and personal story. It's so sad that Sarah's father passed on, but hearing about the love and caring of all your family, friends and neighbors is so heartwarming. It's so bitter sweet to have the happiest day of your life and one of the saddest celebrated so close together.

I'm glad that Bishop Eli made the decision to marry John and Sarah. To have your wedding day taken away for a year would have been heartbreaking.

Congratulations to John and Sarah's marriage, and again my condolences to the passing of her dad.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Doreen,

I will see that everyone gets your message. It is kind of bittersweet. Their marriage is sweet, but her Father's passing is bitter.


Vickie said...

Oh my. What a beautiful story really. Thank you for sharing.

Lily said...

I don't like that Sarah's father passed. But I do like how the community gave it's support so quickly and thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anna, for sharing these events. Love, loss,Grace,mercy,comfort,unity all coming together. The Lord is good, He knows best and will sustain those left behind. Dear Lord, I ask that You will envelope Sarah's family, John,and in-laws with Your peace that surpasses all understanding, to Your glory and their good. Amen. In Christ, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,

I will see that Anna gets your message.

Hug Mabel and Henry from,
Pierre and Marilyn

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Lily,

They sure do give their support. I will see that Anna gets your message.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Carol,

I will see that Anna, John and Sarah get your message and prayers. Do know they really appreciate them at this time.

God Bless you,

Ingrid said...

Please tell Anna,thank you for sharing this with us.Such a sad story,but beautiful too in that Sarah and John were able to get married and for the whole community to get everything organized.I'm sure it made things easier for the couple and it will give them good memories and not just sad. Sarah's mother was very kind to think of John and Sarah and to set everything in motion. My sympathy to all family and friends of Sarah's Father. May God bless the entire Family.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Ingrid,

I will see that they get your messages. There have been happy times with Sarah and John's wedding. Sad times with Sarah's Father passing.

God Bless You,