Tonight, I had a few words with Oldest Son.  He is back on American soil.  He is very weary from a trip that lasted 36 hours.  My heart can barely contain the joy of knowing that he is “home” again.

This afternoon, my Uncle John, my precious Daddy’s brother, quietly went home to Heaven.  He has had a long journey.  And the days were getting more and more difficult.  I was sitting here tonight, thinking about my joy at Oldest Son’s homecoming, and my heart is suddenly alive with the thought of our Heavenly Father, welcoming Uncle John HOME.  Home:  Where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more crying.  He’s left the oxygen tubes, the difficult breathing, the body that has become increasingly unreliable, and he is HOME.  And I believe the Father’s heart is full of joy, so glad to have him HOME.

We are going to miss him here.  His presence and his personality could fill a room with laughter or gloom depending on his orientation.  I loved to hear him pray.  One of the last times he prayed in church, he prayed for a neighborhood child who has been coming to Sunday School, and the prayer was full of love and concern and understanding and hope. 

He was so supportive of church activities.  I took this picture on a cold November night in 2005, when our church came for a hot dog roast on the back pasture followed by a hay ride.  He loved hot dog roasts, and he always came with his sticks sharpened and ready.  He could make a mean hot dog!

Uncle Johnny 2


The thing he loved to eat almost better than anything else was crabs.  At the last Fourth of July Picnic, Freeman and Loretta Beachy came with two bushels of crabs, fresh that very morning, and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on them.  Picking out crabs takes practice, and this man had it down to a science

Uncle Johnny


And then, last fall, we had another late season hot dog roast and hay ride, and we knew it would be too cold for some of our older people.  So some of us made soup in addition to the usual hot dog fare, and my Sweet Mama, Aunt Dottie and Uncle John, and Uncle Eli and Aunt Ruth stayed by the fire in the house, and we brought Shrimp Chowder and Chicken Corn Noodle Soup and Taco Soup and whatever else they thought would be good.  Here the “house crew” is, sitting around the table and enjoying eachother’s company as well as keeping warm. 

Uncle Johnny 1

Soldier won the battle,
He’s in Gloryland somewhere.
Soldier won the battle,
No more aging there.
Living now with Jesus
Waiting ’till we come.
Busy for the Master,
Forever, always young.
~Joel Hemphill


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16 responses to “

  1. I’m sorry for your loss, but rejoicing in the fact that he is will our Heavenly Father – now and forever! What a wonderful thought that is!

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with Aunt Dottie and the family.  That picture of Uncle John eatting those crabs is precious.  Take care girl, I can feel your heartbeat picking up a little speed just knowing oldest son is back on American Soil.  I can truly say, I know exactly how you are feeling. 

  3. So sorry to hear of your loss but rejoicing with you and the family in the fact that he is in heaven.

  4. I have good memories of John driving bus for MYF chorus trips and youth retreats.  I also remember his stories and prayers. 

  5. Life is so bitter sweet.  Two different kinds of homecomings for you.  God Bless You and your family.

  6. So here I sit, hands poised over the keyboard and there just aren’t words. You know? Sometimes, there just aren’t. Praying so much for those left behind. The loss is so great. How well I know.

  7. Sorry for your loss, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  8. My prayers and thoughts are with you and the rest of the family.  I was so glad to know his daughters from school, Bonnie and Judy.  I will be thinking of you and your loss.

  9. Ah, such timing. I hope your heart can hold it all. mw

  10. Is he Bonnie’s dad? Give her my sympathy if you think of it. I’ll be looking for pictures of your son’s homecoming!

  11. I love the thought of 2 different home comings. Bitter sweet indeed. You folks and Polly Wolly’s must be so excited to welcome your children home!

  12. I think you post made it possible to grieve for him and Aunt Dottie today.   When the news came Tuesday my heart and body were so involved with Hannah and all that went with it that I couldn’t process it.     I’ll miss him too but am so thankful that he is at last at peace and rest!

  13. Anonymous

    hello mrs yutzy…im glad that your family and grandma yoder is coming to my graduation…well see you then

  14. our sorrow here cannot compare to that which is there among you in DE. Thanks for your kind comment. And may you all be blessed in your gather-togetherings. If Dottie gets to her email she’ll find some notes from us too. mw

  15. Thinking of you and wanted to say”hi”.

  16. Your 3 comments were very nice. I shall try to shorten up my postings,although I’ve never been accused of being short on words!
    Anymore I seldom if ever plant annuals other than patio pots. I did learn that deheading sure pays.
    I can just imagine your home as being very jolly right now with your chidren home. It makes everything else okay doesn’t it? My little cottage sometimes is far more quiet than it is jolly!

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