I am blessed because I had a Mother who . . .
Read to me
In appreciation, I once gave this book as a Mother’s Day present to my mother. It came back to me when we sorted through her books and papers in 2014.
A well-worn book Mother read to her children
Sang with me songs I learned in Sunday School
Made good food
Taught me how to re-create family recipes, a memoir moment:
The day before, I had helped Mom make Aunt Verna’s potato salad with lots of celery, the way she liked it.
As my mother took cool green stems out of the refrigerator, she warned handing me a knife, “Marian, now don’t cut yourself!”
Then she showed me how to fold my fingers tucked tightly together like a little claw away from the blade as I diced three long stalks. First, I cut each one lengthwise and then with a “chop-chop,” sawed off celery bits in tiny segments starting from the skinny end. Mom mixed in five hard-boiled eggs and added a few sprigs of parsley on top. (Full recipe in glossary)
“See how nice that looks,” she said. “And it’ll taste just as good as my sister’s!”
After I went to bed, I smelled the sweet, rich aroma of angel food cake baking in the oven for the special birthday surprise for Grandma Metzler. I didn’t know Grandma Annie Metzler as well as I knew Grandma Longenecker, but I know my mother thought highly of her for stepping into the shoes as a farmer’s wife and mother to six children after her mother Sadie died when Mom was only nine years old.
Enjoyed eating good food
Mother enjoyed Christian Women’s fellowship in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. I attended one Tuesday in 2003 when mothers were honored.
We miss mother . . .
Other Mother’s Day Posts:
I am Blessed because I had a Brother Mark . . .
Our beloved little brother went home to be with the Lord this week. Sometime next month I will publish a proper tribute to his kind heart.
August 30, 1953 – May 22, 2018
Note: The first part of this post was scheduled for Mother’s Day. Because of circumstances, I am combining this with an update about my brother Mark.
My prayers are with you and your family, Marian. <3
He has seen us through as you can imagine, Jill. 🙂
Dear Marian, I’m struggling with what to say. I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby brother. I know your heart is aching. I know you still grieve for your mother, as well, but your tribute is lovely and loving. (I didn’t remember the potato salad and angel food cake story. )
My thoughts go with you and your family. Sending you more hugs.
I receive your hugs, so appreciated, Merril. The potato salad and angel food cake story are embedded in “A Lesson in Conformity.” I’m staying with my cousin in Lititz, close to the setting of the family reunion.
Your suggtions were so helpful; I’m still working on incorporating some of them. 🙂
So sorry about the loss of your brother.
Thank you, Linda.
I am very sorry for your loss. My most sincere condolences and a big hugh.
Thank you, Fatima. I appreciate your condolences and hugs. 🙂
The blessing of beautiful memories.
Yes, indeed, Arlene!
thanks for sharing such rich histories and feelings about your family. Sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. When my baby brother passed in 2018, my heart felt as if it had a hole in it. Hugs and prayers
My condolences to you, Sara. You understand the feelings first-hand – and the energy drain, emotional and physical. Heart-felt wishes for strength and comfort in the days ahead as you grieve your younger brother’s passing. 🙁
Condolences on the loss of your brother Mark. I’m sure having family nearby meant everything to him. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
I appreciate your good wishes ~ and the reminder of our blessed hope. Thank you, Lynn.
You were fortunate to have such a wonderful mother and such fond memories. So very sad to hear of the passing of your dear brother. He was blessed to have his sisters with him. Sending hugs to you and your family. xo
Our family bonds have strengthened us during this trying time. Thank you for the hugs and good wishes. I am enjoying your travelogue these days though I can’t comment on other blogs these days. It will be nice to get back on track.
Thank you, Darlene!
O my Goodness Marian – deep condolences on Mark’s leaving the earth and all of you. As you say he is going home where he will be among the angels. I know you will all be reassured by this but nevertheless his loss will be deeply felt and mourned. All my loving wishes to you as you all experience this deep loss of your beloved Mark. Too soon …
Yes, it was too soon, but he is at rest now. Thank you for pointing out the ambivalence of our feelings just now, Susan!
Oh Marian. We grieve with you. Praying for your family. Celebrating the life of your mother and brother.
Thank you, Marie ~ As we grieve, we celebrate too!
SENDING PRAYERS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, MARIAN.
Thank you, Jack. I appreciate your showing up here and commenting!
Dear Marian and family, I’m sending you peace and loving memories of Mark and your beautiful Mother. So good you chose to spend the last weeks with Mark. I’m sure he and his family appreciate you. Beverly Armento
Thank you, Beverly. We have been in Pennsylvania since May 3 and leaving today, May 27. I know I’ll never regret choosing family over writing time. Still, I yearn to get back to final edits on my memoir. Best wishes to you!
I feel sadness coupled with the warmth and love and gratitude that we have for the mothers and brothers who have made our lives so much better than they would be without them. Blessings to your brother and to all he brought to you and your family and to the world. 💜
Yes, I try to focus on the positive as I grieve. Thanks, Pam!
<3 Sending you a huge hug full of sympathy and understanding. <3
Much love to you. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother and brother.
Oh, Karen, you have recently tasted loss, a huge loss, and so suddenly too! Again, my condolences on your beloved Jim’s passing. Thank you for showing up here. I guess we are grieving together. Hugs with much love. <3
Marian — I am so sorry for your loss. When there are no words to soften the pain, may your spirit be touched by the love that surrounds you; may the tenderness of caring friends soften your sadness; may cherished memories bring you moments of comfort; and may peace surround your grieving heart.
How fortunate I am to have various “tribes” offering support: church friends, family, and of course my treasured online folks like you. Thanks, heaps, Laurie!
Dear Marian, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved brother Mark. This is such a beautiful tribute to both your mother and brother. My thoughts and prayers remain with you and your family.
Thank you, Kathy, for your note here and the beautiful card you sent earlier this month. 🙂
To Marian, and your entire family: May you recall with laughter, tears, and fondness, the memories of your mother and brother. We are but temporarily present on this earth, and move to eternity when our time is complete here. Thank you for sharing your journey. Know we circle you with comfort.
During the eulogies at Mark’s funeral, someone mentioned hearing my brother say, “We are just passing through.” Mark never achieved scholastically, but he was wise in many ways. I love your last sentence: I feel the comfort, Ginger!
My condolences during this difficult time. Keep the good memories close at hand, eh?
Precious memories, something to hang onto – yes!
I’m so sorry for your loss, Marian. Brothers are very special!
I’m very happy about the wonderful close relationship you all had with your mother! Thank you for sharing with us, even in your sorrow. God Bless You!
Oh how sweet! Was that you singing? I think it was! Thanks for sharing!
The little girl’s singing is so sweet, but it’s not me – a sweet tune from youtube. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Your brother mothered your mother–certainly–and your dear aunt. Dear souls all. Sending virtual hugs. God’s love will sustain.
Your comment “Your brother mothered your mother and aunt” certainly hits home. Thanks for your words of comfort here, Melodie!
I see it isn’t quite four years since your mother paseed away, and now your brother is gone as well. These are tender good-byes filled with love and longing. So glad you can write about your feelings, as this is certainly a step toward wholeness and healing.
We all grieve differently, but I can’t imagine not writing even though we have much to attend to. It certainly gives vent to my feelings. Thank you for noting the dates of our loss. Yes, Mother died in 2014, Aunt Ruthie last year on Mother’s Day, and now my brother almost exactly one year later. All three are in repose at Bossler Mennonite Cemetery. The blessed hope of seeing them again some day sustains me. Thank you, Elfrieda!
Marian, I am sorry for the loss of your brother. And your mother, too… I know you miss her. How wonderful to have a close and caring family. God be near you.
Like you, I have a close and caring family stretching way back. Yes, I feel the comfort of God’s nearness. Thank you, Luci!
I enjoy reading your blogs……Prayers for you girls as you grieve the passing of your brother. Thanks for posting this about your mother….I remember that song “The birds upon the tree top” …sang it often as a child growing up.
Sometime I would like to know the name of your grandpa Metzler……since I am married to a Metzler from Mt. Joy, Pa. 🙂
You are the first person to mention the song, one I often remember when I hear birds sing in springtime. My grandpa was Abram H. Metzler from Manheim/Lititz area. (His brothers were Monroe and Herman Metzler.) My grandma, Sadie Landis Metzler, died when my mother was nine. My memoir (when published) will feature a family tree with generations from both my Metzler and Longenecker ancestry.
Thank you for your caring comment, Bertha.
Dear marian, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sending thoughts and prayers your way.
I appreciate this, Joan. Thank you so much! 🙂
Marian, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sending virtual hugs to you.
Virtual hugs are fine. Thank you for yours – and thoughts and prayers too, Sherrey!
I’m so sorry for your loss Marian. At least we can keep our loved ones in our hearts forever. Wishing you peace and healing 🙂 x
I’m holding on to that thought, Debby!
There will always be an empty spot in the family photos from now on. You and your sisters will have each other to have and to hold, and to share the ache of absence. God bless all of you.
You remind me that “to have and to hold” applies to more than marriage. It certainly suits the longest relationships we usually have on this earth: those with our siblings.
And you may have gathered from my Instagram photos that we are in Lititz now, in the absence of any family homesteads in ELizabethtown. My cousin Ruth Ann Heisey (Heisey’s Barber Shop) has graciously opened her home to us since May 3. Today we were treated to a tour of greenhouses in Amish/Mennonite farm country. God always provides shelter from the storm. Thank you for your beautifully worded comment here.
My dear Marian I am so sorry for your loss . I am thinking of you and your family now and I hold you all in my prayers 🙏xx
How lovely to have sweet friends who care. Thanks, dear Cherry!
So very very sorry to hear about Mark. Hugs.
Oh, Marian. I can see Mark’s nature in that photo with you and your sisters, as you pointed out. He didn’t mask his feelings.
Mark wouldn’t know how to wear a mask even if he could find one; he had no guile. Thank you for the compliment to him. Eulogies at his memorial service resonated with such sentiments. 🙂
Your piece makes me think of my mother and brother. Our brothers (and sisters) have known us a long, long time. I hope you have plenty of support. I look forward to knowing more about him.
I have plenty of support, Elaine, but truthfully I feel depleted and fragile. Your post this week really touched my heart and a left a brief comment. <3
In June I plan to post a pictorial tribute of his life.
Marian, I am so sorry for your loss. I will continue to uphold you all in prayer. xoxo
I’m so glad we have a connection here, and doubly glad we have that vertical connection too with our heavenly Father. I feel bereft, of course, but not without hope. Thank you, Jenn.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Marian, but I’m glad you managed to spend your brother’s last days with him and the rest of your family. Your mother, as well as Mark, seemed very important in your life, and you have shown them love, care, and appreciation throughout, which is what anyone of us would want and appreciate. I enjoyed reading another memoir excerpt.
You are the first one to mention the memoir excerpt: Thank you! My manuscript has taken a back seat this month as my focus has been on my family. I just got back to Florida from Pennsylvania and now gathering strength – and my wits, I hope. Thanks for the condolences, Liesbet!