This past week I have finally heard from Anna. She writes that she is sewing herself new clothes, shelling popcorn, getting ready for church to be held at her sister’s place, and putting a quilt in frame for an “English” lady.
Then I read this:
Saloma and David, I am so sorry I didn’t know how the things are all, but if younce write more letters, don’t expect to get more letters back from me. I promised the preachers that I want to forget everything about the outside world. And there is another wedding in the neighborhood besides those two that already were and I want to be back in the church before the wedding is, but if I would write younce then I am not forgetting the outside world. So please don’t look forward for more letters.
In a letter, I addressed Anna’s request that we cease our communications:
Your letter made me sad. It’s too bad that your preachers don’t see that we supported your decision to return to the community by bringing you back. I will be honest and tell you that it will be really hard not hearing from you. Yet I understand how much you want to be part of the life in your community again. It sounds as though I will make things harder for you if I continue to write, so I will honor your request and stop writing. It is so odd that there are times when we care about someone and we want to hold them close, yet we are required to open our arms and let that person go. The six months you were with us was a gift from above and we came to really care about you. I cannot imagine going through the rest of my life without ever seeing you or hearing from you again. No matter what happens, I will never forget you. I think of you many times a day and I send you my thoughts and prayers as you walk the path you feel is right for you. Your friends send theirs along with mine.
In high German there is a term that people use when they don’t know if they will ever see one another again. It is Lebe wohland it means “Live well” or “fare well.” Even though I have a hard time imagining this is it, I do hope you will live well.
Much love and many blessings,
Saloma and David
P.S. I am going to send the letter I wrote on Monday. After all, I wouldn’t want to waste a perfectly good letter. (I can imagine your smile as you read this.) I will always remember your smile and your sense of humor. Goodness, how I miss you!
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I know that there is a lesson I need to learn from Anna walking into our lives, staying for six months, and then leaving and having to cut off all communications. In good time, I am sure I will understand why she was part of our lives for a time. Right now I’m too close to the loss and so I cannot yet know what it all means.
|The world Anna chose|
|And where she lives (the gray house on the right)|
10 thoughts on “A Letter from Anna”
Reading this, I can feel your sadness. You made your choice all those years ago, and clearly Anna has made hers. You are very brave supporting her decision the way you did.
It would make me sad as well yet you can still treasure the time you guys had together.
I understan this is hard for you. I feel your pain when I read this. I hope that Anna will find happiness regardless if it is in her Amish community or elsewhere. I am going to tell you what I would do if I were in your shoes. I would respect her request not to send letters but I would send her a postcard or something like that with a greeting once a year just to tell her that she is not forgotten. Nothing that needs an answer, just a reminder that you are still out there loving her and if there is trouble she knows you are still a friend.
I admire Anna for following her heart and you for supporting her decision to go back to her community. And who knows, maybe you will see her or hear from her sometime in the future. Just hold on to that hope…
How very sad, not only for you, but for her too, to go back into such a restrictive atmosphere. She will have many memories of thee life she lead in your home, though.
Saloma, I’m so sorry for your loss. In six months time you have gained and lost a daughter. I’m extending a virtual hug.
A comment to Elizabethd: It is sad that Anna has to go back into what sounds like a somewhat abusive-controlling environment, but the restrictive part is not so restrictive for people who grow up within those restrictions. The sense of community that is formed within those restrictions is something I’ve not seen duplicated elswhere. It is that sense of community that acts as a power-force to either draw people back or to live in the English world with a sensation of having lost something they can never fully retrieve.
Even though a part of me hopes Anna comes back to Saloma. Even more I hope she has the wisdom and strength to make the choice that will result in the greatest ultimate satisfaction for her own life. And I believe she does.
Saloma, Anna will not forget your address and I’m pretty sure, in time, you will hear from her. You and Dave gave of yourselves and she is not going to forget it. How unrealistic of the preachers thinking she would! I like the idea of sending a post card or short note just to let Anna know how you and Dave are doing or to share a recipe. Not right away, for who knows if your letter(s) will even reach her; but in time, when she has regained the trust of her family and the preachers, they may relax the rules. In the meantime, we pray for many things, but mostly that she follows the Lord’s leading above all else.
In the Catholic religion, which I am no longer a part of, when a divorced person wants to remarry they have to get the first marriage annulled- “to make legally void” according to the dictionary. My older sister was on the receiving end of an annulled marriage. I felt so bad for her.
How can any person or institution have the audacity to think they have the power to end a connection one person has formed with another? If it were that simple, wouldn’t any and every person love to forget abuse, heartbreak, disappointments from their past or present? In my opinion, it’s like someone wanting to play God, to pretend things are different than the way they are, a crude way of controlling another. And people get hurt, of course they do.
When your pain begins to cease congratulate yourself on the fact that you allowed yourself to love. Though you’ve experienced great sorrows in your life and have every right to stand back from giving of yourself, you chose not to. You did not deprive another person of love. And this is what makes life worth living.
I’m catching up from new to old posts. How sad she can’t keep in touch with her friends. And how silly considering they do have to deal with the outside world. Poor Anna, stuck in the middle of two worlds and having to choose one over the other. I hope she finds great happiness wherever her life takes her.
Pingback: | How is Anna Doing?About Amish