We celebrated a few birthdays in our family in the last month. For Amanda’s birthday we held our third annual garden party in her memory garden with a small group of friends and family. We planted the eighteenth solar light reminding us how old she’d be now. As part of our tradition, we have a time of formal sharing where I shared some words of a song titled, “If Heaven Wasn’t so Far Away.” The songwriter talks about things he sees each day that remind him of his late grandfather and what they used to do together. He imagines what it would be like if he could “pack up the kids and go for the day.” He ends off saying, “we’d be back in a couple of days_ In the rear-view mirror we’d all watch ’em wave_ Yeah, losing them wouldn’t be so hard to take_ If heaven wasn’t so far away.”
The nostalgic tone resonates with me this summer as we just passed the three-year mark since Amanda died. I don’t even mind that the song brings tears to my eyes. It bothers me how with the passing of time I can get used to Amanda being gone.
This month we celebrated Brandon’s twentieth and our little Micah’s second birthday. Speaking of birthdays_ we’re excitedly awaiting the arrival of another little one this October!
Yes, you heard right. Patricia is expecting again! We were a little surprised as well as we thought Micah might be our last one. With us both being in our forties we thought we might be leaving that stage of life behind. We said something of the sort to the midwife when Micah was born but she predicted she’d see us again.
You may wonder if Mennonites even believe in birth control? To my knowledge most communities don’t take a hard position on this issue, but most couples have larger families and children are always considered a blessing. Patricia and I don’t have extremely rigid opinions about family planning, but we have long welcomed the idea of having a large family. When I was in my early twenties, I considered it to be smarter and more progressive to just have a small family. As our family grew, I increasingly realized my earlier ideas were not necessarily enlightened thinking.
Patricia nursed the babies lots and wasn’t in a hurry to wean them which naturally (or simply through God’s providence) spaced the children two to three years apart. We have just lived life and happily received the gifts God gave us.
We went on a vacation the week of June the twenty-first when we passed the three year mark since Amanda died. We took a circle in Ontario, starting the week visiting museums in Sudbury, then later camping at Georgian Bay and finally heading to Markham where we visited the folks and places that are dear to us since we spent the last weeks there with Amanda.
Photos around the Farm
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In addition to expecting the little one soon, we have other things going on that we’re excited to share with you shortly. Stay posted for updates in the weeks to come.