The Story of an Old Order Mennonite Girl

Circle Letters: The Story of an Old Order Mennonite Girl - A Memoir by Aleta M. Schrock

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Yes, But We Didn't Have Him

In my Baby Book, six weeks after my dad had passed away, my mom wrote:
On June 8, you said, “Soon will be Dad’s birthday.” Mom told you it was yesterday. Then you said, “Yes, but we didn’t have him.”

Then in July, a month later Mom recorded:
When we passed the graveyard on Sunday you said, “When that pile of dirt goes down, Dad will have stood up.”

On Friday, October 4, 1968, almost six months after my dad’s funeral Emma wrote about me in her diary:
At Nellie’s funeral she stood real close to the grave. I believe she wanted to see what graves were like.”

The funeral has been lost somewhere within my memory. I believe it’s buried somewhere with the memory of the pain attached to it.
My childhood was a happy one. When adults asked me about my dad I remember telling them about the good memories I had and then adding, “I’m glad he died when I was so young that way I was too young to remember any sense of loss. They all believed me. I did too until one day when I was twenty-five.
How can one grieve and release a buried memory? While hypnosis has crossed my mind, it leaves me feeling uncomfortable. There is a reason God created our minds with the amazing ability to block out memories that cause overload. Is that a part of his promise to not allow more than we can handle to come into our lives? (1 Corinthians 10:13)
I believe that eventually, when my emotions are healed enough to handle it, the memory will return. Acknowledging that there was a loss has been the first step in receiving that healing. In His time God will show me the next step along that path.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sunday John 14:1-3

John 14:1-3

... In my Father's house are many mansions...

This is a real, full grown contemporary castle in South Bend, Indiana.
I sometimes drive by it on my way home from school.
1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sunday: Proverbs 4:18-19

Proverbs 4:18-19

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Note the little black dot of a mailbox at the right side of the road.
Next week's Sunday photo will be the castle at the end of that drive!

19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Photo Memory: The Final Snapshot

After the funeral there is only one more snapshot. A dream. In this dream my dad has just stepped through the outside door into the kitchen and I am staring up at him. He’s wearing his denim-blue work shirt, suspenders and denim overalls. Our eyes lock. My heart cries, “Why don’t you come home anymore?” But not a word is spoken. There are no tears. I only feel an indescribable longing.
I have frequently questioned the authenticity of this dream-memory. Even though the dream had occurred prior to the time my mom had remodeled our house, in my memory the dream was set in our newly remodeled kitchen. Was my dream-memory superimposed into our new kitchen because I have difficulty remembering how our pre-remodeled house used to look or was it a false memory?
Several years ago I discovered the answer in my Aunt Emma’s diary. On December 19, 1969, one year and eight months after my dad’s death, sandwiched in between a comment about how cute my younger brother Roland could talk and how she had shipped off a box of sugar and creamer sets she had painted, Emma had penned the following words:

Mother (Grossmommy) said Aleta told her she dreamed her father came in the door. “Do you know why I dreamed that? Because I wish to see him.”

More than forty  years later I could still feel that longing deep inside. My heart crying out for my daddy. This time the tears came.
That longing subconsciously followed me throughout my life. Because of it, unhealed, I made choices that I believe I would not have made otherwise. I spent my teen years searching to fill that empty void in my heart. It was not until I allowed God to fill it that I found peace.
We all have a God-shaped void within us. It is only by daily inviting his presence in to fill it that we maintain that peace.