These last days have been a pull and by last night, a fever set in.
“Mom, will you be okay?” the children asked, climbing onto the recliner with me.
Thanks to my Mom, who came and stayed until everyone was sound asleep, and to my baby sister Keturah for staying for the night. Keturah is the best of nurses; things aren’t exactly how they were when I’d rock her endlessly and sing to her. It wasn’t her that I was caring for anymore. Now that she has grown seven inches taller than me, I look up to her in more than one way.
With my body racked by chills, I thought of the things that would be left undone until another day and wondered how the night ahead would be. There was one hope I had to cling to. It was Jesus; I didn’t even move my lips; I knew he heard the unspoken cry in my heart, so I gave my feelings and fever to Him.
Silently, he was near. “Having him so close is even better than to be healthy,” I mused.
After a while, we were all sound out. This morning dawned with the promise of a beautiful Sunday. There was no choice but to stay home from church to recover fully and not pass the bug to any other.
Grandpa Yoders picked up the four oldest children and took them to Sunday school. Elijah and Joshua stayed with me and colored pictures and went outside to play while I rested, communed with God, and soaked in the reality of not having to work even one bit.
Elijah was pleased to help by warming up pancakes for lunch, which Julia had made the day before. Joshua helped by fetching the syrup and plates. The older children joined Grandpa and Grandma at Uncle John’s house for lunch.
My mind drifted to all my friends and how I told my editor, Kevin, that I couldn’t write this week with not feeling up to par. It was like not getting to chat with you for another whole week. It was enough; God would surely give strength for it. I grabbed my sweater from Ms. Harbarger, a reader from Logan, Ohio, which she gifted last year. “It’s supposed to feel like a hug,” she had explained. It really does! The soft navy blue fabric is perfect for occasions as such. Also, when the younger children see me with it, they come running, “Mom, can you wrap me up in there with you?”
Undoubtedly, you’re also not asking to be sick this winter; if it happens not to be that way, hang on, it’ll get better. We’ll keep praying for you all. It’s not easy to be sick, yet many times it’s one of God’s more useful tools to get us to relax long enough to draw us to Himself, and if we ask him to, he’ll speak to our hearts.
I scratched my head on what would be the best recipe for you to try if you have the opportunity to care for others who are under the weather. When Grandma Raber was a little girl, they would ladle warm milk over saltine crackers when they were sick. Grandma Mast tells the story of what occurred when she was a little girl and wanted their family’s specialty of toasted bread cubes with butter and seasoning which they ate when they were sick. She gave in to the temptation of lying to her mother, telling her she was ill. Years have passed, but the lesson remains for her 33 grandchildren and 51 great-grandchildren.
Our children like sipping on chicken broth with crackers or eating toast with honey until they get better. Or for Jesse, who just turned six, he’s the proactive one, if he feels like he may be getting sick to his stomach, he’ll summon tissues, a can of healthy ginger ale, and a pail, just in case.
My mom is known for her garlic herb bread. She has made it countless times for guests and gatherings and it never fails to be a hit. Not only that, it is a soothing option on days such as this one.
BAKED GARLIC TOAST
1 loaf Italian bread*
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon of either basil, parsley, or oregano (take your pick which one)
1. Mix softened butter with garlic salt and the seasoning of your choice.
2. Spread on one side of each slice of bread.
3. Stack slices together as a loaf.
4. Wrap with tinfoil.
5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
*Regular bread will also work.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.