2014-07-02 / Local News

Meandering Melodies

Out of the Fast Lane
by Susan Holsinger

Holsinger Holsinger One-sided

Many of you who read this column have never met me personally. A few of you have recognized me when I am out and about and exclaim, “You’re the one who writes in the Comet!” Others of you have reached out to me with words of encouragement and inspiration. I’ve appreciated each letter, card, phone call and email. Several have included self-addressed stamped envelopes with the desire that I reply to them.

Quite some time ago I received a postcard from Paul. He grew up near Camden and went to school with my brother. He is a member of the horseand buggy or Old Brethren German Baptist fellowship. I appreciated his card and it has gone unanswered for several months. It’s one of those things you keep thinking you will get around to but somehow time flies by and you realize you haven’t responded yet! Such was the case with Brother Paul’s postcard. I saw him at the funeral home the other night and I had the opportunity to tell him I still planned to respond to his card! That’s when he made a comment I want to share with you. He said, “I have a conversation with you every week, it’s just a little one-sided!” I readily agreed! We both chuckled.

Hearing from you makes my day! Do you have questions about something I’ve written or desire to learn about something in particular? It’s kinda hard to answer questions that haven’t even been asked! When I am writing articles I think of you “out there,” and your faces come to my mind, and then the conversation doesn’t seem so “one-sided.” Every article includes my email, phone number and address. I’d love to hear from many more of you… I only hope that I can answer in a more timely fashion than I have with Brother Paul!

I also think of those who have invited me to speak at their organizations, clubs and meetings. What a blessing it is to live in this community where people really do care about each other.

I must also say that I miss my dear friend Dieter. I met him for the first time at our Meetinghouse Raising in August 2013. He and his wife Sherry came out to the building site on the first Saturday we had a work day and asked where I was. We hit it off right away and shared in that sweet fellowship that is known among those who love and serve God. Dieter had a keen interest in our community and the plain folks who live here. He had all kinds of questions but hesitated to ask them sometimes for fear of offending the person he was asking. We had many delightful conversations. He would send me an email with a topic he wanted me to write about, or ask for further clarification of something I had written, or just simply tell me how much he enjoyed “this week’s” article. Some of the things he wanted to know about were challenging to write about! The last email I received from Dieter was in March. It was after I wrote the article about “The Spring House.” He wanted to see the “Spring House.”

We had also been exchanging emails about the book I was working on as I put all the articles from the first year of Meandering Melodies together. I sent him the cover to preview and asked him to proofread it. He gave valuable feedback on the cover of the book and declined the proofreading stating they were too busy caring for their aging parents.

I was quite shocked to see Dieter’s obituary when I opened the Comet the first of April. In the midst of my tears I finally found their phone number and called Sherry to see what happened. She told me all about how he had a bad stroke one morning and a few short mornings later he was gone. I had known him eight short months; yet it didn’t take very long for him to make a deep impression on my heart. I miss him! I can’t even begin to imagine how much Sherry misses him! She was filled with the peace that passes understanding the day I talked to her and she shared his last moments with me. I pray she is still experiencing that peace as the reality settles in and life without him leaves a void no one can fill. We do not sorrow as those without hope. Dieter loved the Lord. He expressed it in every thing he did. I miss his cheery emails and questions. Our weekly “visits” weren’t one-sided then but they are now. Some glad day all God’s children will be united again and there will be no more death.

The suddenness of Dieter’s passing makes me think of my parents. They are both past the age of 70. I realize how much I take their lives for granted. When your parents’ friends start dying the realization that it could be them hits you like a ton of bricks. It is sobering to realize that time could be short for them. How do you get along without your parents, anyway?!

I told Philip last night that I am not ready to let them go and probably never will be. I am thankful God is the One who calls us home. I’m not sure that makes it any easier but it is a consolation to know that He is the giver of life. Job said, “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Each moment we spend with them gets a little sweeter and the memories we make with them become more precious as they grow older.

I pray that your conversations and relationships aren’t one-sided! Now I must go and write a letter to Brother Paul! Affirmation for today:

Life is too short to be at odds with anyone! May the miracle of love shine in my heart today and always.

Next week’s article: “Pappy Diehl and watermelons”

(Contact Susan - Email: susan.holsinger@gmail.com; 7690 W 700 S Rossville, IN 46065; ph. 765-379-3722).

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