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When Plans Change …

This is not what we planned. I was in Marshall’s, looking for a basket to hold the urn with my mother’s ashes, when my sister-in-law told me her daughter had tested positive for Covid. Tears welled up in my eyes and I fought them back.

We had planned an intimate gathering to inter my mother’s ashes this Sunday. She passed into glory two years ago, but with Covid, family schedules, etc. my brother and sister-in-law still have the urn.

My niece was going to help make the after-meal–wereneki and German sausage, salad, zwieback.

  • Wereneki – cottage cheese dumplings (larger than ravioli), covered with a wonderful cream gravy
  • Zwieback – two-layer rolls, the top smaller than the bottom.

Both, along with German sausage, are part of our Mennonite / Ukrainian heritage and are delicious. Mom made them periodically and since she taught her daughter-in-law and several nieces, they have made them since. Quite labor-intensive, but so good! How would a positive Covid test impact our gathering?

Then I stopped and prayed and thought about my response. Yes, we’d made plans. Now we needed to flex. It’s possible someone else will test positive before Sunday. Some may be uncomfortable being together. The group may be composed differently than we expected. And we’ve decided, in light of possible other infections, to postpone the traditional family meal and rather enjoy lunch at an outdoor restaurant. But we’ve planned this time to honor Mom and her Lord for months, and I need to trust that, however it plays out, it will accomplish that. And we’ll go with what we can.

Mom, who loved the scriptures and prayed for her family daily

So this week, every day Sheila and I are talking by phone.

Yesterday and today I’ve felt unfocused, had a hard time knowing where to begin. I started to tear up again when I took a return package back to DHL. It’s amazing how grief can sweep over you at any trigger, and I guess this final act is a trigger for me. I know it’s not Mom we’re putting into the ground. She is just, as Billy Graham said, at a new address, and more alive than ever!

I need to remember that as we celebrate her life Sunday and say this farewell to the Mom who helped me gain the assurance of my faith in Christ, who consistently prayed for us, who graciously modeled being a wife and mother who constantly sought God’s heart. Not goodbye, Mom, but “until we meet again”.

I look forward to that day with great anticipation!

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

John 17:3 NIV


  1. Kathie Schultz says:

    These final acts of remembrance can be very difficult even when we know our loved one is with Christ. Praying for all of you

    1. carolnl says:

      Indeed they can Kathie, as you know all too well. We had a sweet time together. Thank you for your prayers!

  2. Karen O'Connor says:

    A beautiful personal story, Carol

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you Karen.

  3. Robin says:

    Hi, Don and Carol,
    Hopefully your Easter Celebration was a grand success and you both are well and happy.

    Everything is improving here

    Much love to you both,

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you Robin. We had a lovely day yesterday – and a family who had just arrived from Ukraine was in our church Sunday morning! What a joy to see them, meet them (they don’t yet speak English). And what a transition! Trust you had a blessed celebration and am glad to hear things are improving there. Blessings.

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