My parents and my three youngest brothers arrived late afternoon. This was the first time we got to see each other since they had moved to a different Amish community several months earlier. Sunbeam was sleeping but Mom couldn't wait to have her first peek at her newest grand-daughter. I knew that Sunbeam would have plenty of time to sleep after their visit was over and gently lifted her from her crib and let Mom hold her. Sunbeam slept all the way through that first introduction as Mom oohed and ahhed over her wealth of black hair and chubby cheeks.
We had a lot of visiting to catch up on and it seemed as if there simply weren't enough hours in a day. Daddy helped LV tear out the carpeting in our living room and replace it with tile while Mom and I spent our days with nothing to do except making meals and visiting.
All too soon it was time for them to leave. I hated to see them go but it did help that Mahlon, now 16, was staying with us for the rest of the summer to help with all our work.
The days that followed were busy as they cleared brush and thorns away in order to be able to build fence. The children loved having their uncle there and everything was settling into a comfortable routine until one morning at chore time when LV called Mahlon. He didn't get up. LV went ahead and started feeding all the calves by himself. An hour later he again called him. Still no answer.
We started getting an uneasy feeling and went to check his bed. It was empty. His alarm clock was set for 2:00 and his dufflebag was gone. I felt my stomach drop and then decided to press redial on our phone. My brother David's phone number came up so we called him to see if he knew where Mahlon was. He fed us some phony baloney story how Mahlon was hitch hiking to Maryland and he was on his way to pick him up and that Mahlon would be living with him.
We tried to soak in that information for a while and then I knew what we had to do next. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do so far in my life as I picked up the phone and called my parents to let them know that Mahlon had run away.