Last night I talked to one of my brothers. He called to let me know that he had stopped in at our parents since he was passing through that area and found out that Daddy had a heart attack several weeks ago but is at home now and doing okay.
As you can imagine it was quite a shock to me to hear that, and I couldn't help but wonder why the three of us who have left the Amish weren't told about it.
When I think of Daddy I think of a strong healthy man who loved working. A constant whistle on his lips. He was one of the few people that can actually whistle while they are smiling. As a little girl I used to ask him to teach me to whistle the same way but even with all his patient lessons I was never able to master that art.
I can see him working in his woodworking shop where many beautiful pieces of furniture were crafted.
I can see him patiently training horses to be safe on the road with a family.
I can see him on his hands and knees crawling on the floor in the evenings with my little brothers perched on his back with a firm grip on his suspenders, enjoying their horse rides.
I can see him walking through the garden in the evening dusk hours with Mom as they looked at everything and loading his arms with vegetables to bring into the house.
I can see him pushing his chair back slightly from the table as he launches into stories from his childhood.
I can hear his voice as he sang all the songs he used to love so well.
I can hear his deep rolling laughter that seemed to bubble up from deep inside.
I can see him on the front porch swing after a long day of work swinging gently as he watched the stars appear in the sky and listened to the night sounds. Sitting next to him was a coveted spot for all of us as we sat quietly in the hushed evening and talked only in a whisper to not ruin the peacefulness.
These are the type of things I think of when I think of Daddy. I don't like to face the reality that he really isn't strong and healthy like he used to be. I know that having three of his children leave the Amish has not been easy for him but I would like to think he still walks around with his smiling whistle.