I am just about kaput!
Since we came home from the Yutzy Reunion in Ohio, I have picked three bushels of lima beans off the 24 plants that Certain Man planted and conscientiously tended for me. (He does NOT pick beans, though!) I have them all shelled and safely into the freezer.
They weren’t doing so well at first. The first time I picked them I barely got enough to fill the cup of my two hands. While I did that first picking, I noticed that the plants were turning yellow from the inside out, and many of the beans that were there were hanging limp. I went down those rows of beans and started praying over my decrepit looking bean plants. I asked the Lord to be gracious to my little garden, and could He please turn things around so that I could have a good harvest. And I sang while I picked — songs of Heaven, songs of praise, songs of the Soon Return of Jesus (Which I am thinking really could be any day now!). And then I waited. About ten days ago, I went back out and things were looking better. I got a fairly decent picking and was able to put five bags in the freezer. Then we went off to the Yutzy Family Reunion. I thought that maybe they ought to be picked while we were gone, but decided that I would just check them when I got back.
Wowser! We got home on Monday evening, and I went out early on Tuesday morning and the beans were hanging thick and full. I got started picking but had to stop at the end of one side of one row. I had a bushel already, and the sun was so hot and the one med I take says to limit exposure to the sun, so I took my very red face into the house, and decided to wait until it got down to around eighty degrees. The thing was, it was still eighty-seven at seven in the evening. I was sure I couldn’t wait any longer, so I headed on out, and it actually wasn’t too bad. There was a breeze, and the sun was going down so I picked another bushel. Of course, then I was forced in because it was getting dark.
Wednesday it rained almost all day. We got over six inches. Eldest Daughter and I canned 29 quarts of pizza sauce in the morning, and then I went to My Sweet Mama’s for the day. When I got home, it was time to get ready for small group– and clean up the kitchen, and shell the beans, so I put them into the fridge and decided that I would blanch them on Thursday. So, Thursday morning, I went out to finish the one side of the last row and picked another bushel. Believe me, I got busy in earnest to get those things shelled, blanched and into the freezer. I got 28 bags (3 cups each, although, when I put three cups into a measuring cup, it made almost four, so those are really almost quarts). I am one grateful girl! It feels good to have picked them all myself. I actually enjoy picking the pole beans, but I guess i would not be adverse to some of the family helping. They do help with the shelling. (Sometimes, a little bit. Sometimes, a lot.)
The thing is, I feel so close to my Daddy in the bean patch. Thoughts of him keep invading the spaces of my heart and the memories are so good. Thankfully, most of the time, they don’t make me cry any more.
Last night I was talking to Mama, and I said, “I think Daddy would be pleased with my bean patch this year!”
She said, “He would be so pleased! It would really tickle him to know how well it’s doing and how many beans you are getting from it.”
I said, “I can almost see his smiley crinkles and hear him say, ‘I don’t know what to say ’bout ‘cha! Well, Sweetie, that’s really good!'”
It’s been so long since I’ve heard that voice. I remember that when he died, the feeling I felt the most was incredible joy at his safe homegoing –and the fact that he slipped so easily from mortality to immortality. My sister, Alma, said that one of the reasons we were able to be strong those days was that we hadn’t had time to miss him yet. It’s funny how you can hear something and know that it is entirely more accurate than you really want it to be. Those words were so terribly true. I missed him every single day for so long that the physical ache in my stomach almost became an expected part of me. It honestly doesn’t hurt like that very often anymore, but sometimes when it seems like I don’t quite miss him so much, another person I love takes it upon themselves to make the journey from here to There. Counting him, we’ve laid to rest five of the David and Savilla Yoder children in less than five years. Daddy, Uncle John, Aunt Ruth, Uncle Luke, Aunt Naomi. And other family members and good friends. Sometimes it is so incongruous how glad I am for them, and at the same time, how sad for us. And because I am mortal, most of the time when I think about it, I’m just desperately sad for our losses. Significant losses. Every one of them.
These days when I am getting ready to let go of Youngest Daughter, trying to think of all the last minute things I have to tell her, trying not to cry when I look at her face, fold her laundry, listen to her voice, I keep thinking about life and why we do the things we do. I wonder sometimes what all our angst is going to look like from The Other Side. I wonder if all the separation, heartache and sorrow of this sin sick world will be a part of a long forgotten past, and we won’t even remember? Or if we remember at all, will it be only to realize that all of this was nothing, NOTHING in comparison to what God has in store for us?
We can’t know what it’s all going to be like, of course, on this side. But what a comfort to my heart are these words from Jesus our Lord: (Listen!)
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you.3 After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going . . .I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.” John 14:1-4,6b
He promised! We can count on it!