After my best friend and I got a great friendship going, my mom’s mother experienced a health set back of congestive heart failor. My mother wanted to go and visit her. Grandma lived in New Jersey, and so, my mom, sister and I took a road trip to go and see Grandma.
It was one of the most fun trips I had at Grandma’s house. Grandma was pretty “sick” for about a week, but after a week, just like Grandma was, she wanted to get out of the house and do something fun. She thought it would be great to go and visit the Amish.
When mom explained to me who the Amish were, I was ready and rearing to go. So we packed our overnight weekend bags, and set out to Pennsylvania Dutch country, and found a quaint hotel to stay in.
Grandma’s idea of visiting Amish Country was totally different from my mom’s idea. Grandma had her heart set on shopping. Mom and I had our heart set on studying the History of the Amish.
Mom stopped by at some information center ran by Mennonites that gave the history of the Anabaptists. We watched documentaries, and were given places of interest to visit, and browsed the bookstore and gift shop to our hearts content.
My mom, sister and I had a hey day. My poor Grandma. We invited her to come along with us, but she insisted she would rather sit at the hotel and rest.
One time my sister and I got carried away. We commanded mom to follow a horse and buggy to see where it went.We followed it to strip mall with a bank, pizza place, and exercise place. We couldn’t find any Amish in the stores. So I told mom, they must be in the corn field next to the mall “doing the fancy dance”. Mom burst out laughing, and asked me where I got such a notion. I think I said something to the effect of “elementary my dear…elementary.”
One particularly funny thing that happened, was that we decided to take a horse and carriage ride. The lady driving the buggy was some type of plain person with a very bad attitude. The horse looked tired, and my mom commented on that fact. The lady then said in a snarky way, “Well, yeah, aren’t we all!.”
That became a running joke in our family whenever someone complained. And it always made us laugh.
When we returned back to Grandma’s house, I had a ton of books about the Amish and I started to devour them. I also started to pretend to be Amish. At night I would lay in bed, fantasize myself as an Amish girl driving her horse and buggy.
As I read the Amish materials and saw their “biblical” reasons for doing what they did, I asked mom why we didn’t live like this. Mom’s answer was, “Some people interpret the Bible differentially than we do.” This answer did not satisfy me. I continued to devour Amish history books, Amish Fiction, and even tried to make head coverings and play like I was Amish.
My ideal dream was to start a community that was like the Amish, only we didn’t have the same theology as the Amish (I did not agree with them concerning salvation, and other ideas.)
When I was at Grandma’s house, I found out that my best bosom friend would be moving about two hours away. By the time I got home from Grandma’s she would be gone. The sadness of the news didn’t hit me until I got home and had no one to play with.
And then we got news that my Horse, Shadow, was having medical problems. So we had numerous vet visits, and the vet was totally perplexed as to what was wrong with him. Poor shadow could not go pee or poop because he had lost feeling in his rear haunches. The vet had to make a daily visit to come and help manually eliminate his waste.
The prognosis wasn’t good, and the vet had a feeling he had something similar to EPM, which was a fairly new and rare disease. I decided that it would be easier to donate him to an animal hospital for research than to put him down.
So one Hot summer day, we went to see Shadow for the last time. We were armed with a huge bag of carrots and apples and awaited the trailer to come and pick him up to take him to the veterinarian school. That was one of the toughest things I had to experience.
They loaded up Shadow onto the trailer and I said goodbye to him one last time through the slates in the wall of the trailer, kissed his soft velvety nose, and watched the trailer pull away my best friend.
Mom and Dad were heartbroken that I had to go through something like this. They already had something up their sleeves to help me through this tough time in my life. And it proved to be one of the best things they did for me.