Lovina Mourns the Loss of Brother Albert

Has it only been a week since I last penned this column? So much has happened since then and life has changed again.

Brother Albert, age 59, lost his eight-week battle to colon cancer. He died peacefully with his wife of 37 1/2 years and his children by his side. Although he had unbearable pain, he still talked to his family and said some very memorable words. Albert didn’t sing much, but he sang song 131, which is the second song sung at every Amish worship service only hours before he passed away. This song is in the Ausbund, which has all the songs we sing in church.

The comfort the family has is knowing Albert is cancer-free now. He told his family they will need to let him go. Let go and let God! These words are easier said than done, but with God’s help we can be comforted. We have many precious memories of brother Albert.

Albert passed away on my 53rd birthday. We had plans to go to our neighbors’ house for supper. They had invited the neighbor families and some others. I was sewing all day and thought that it would be nice to not make supper on my birthday. When we received the call that Albert had passed away, I just couldn’t leave or go in a crowd of people. We knew it might come to this, but we still had hopes that he might go into remission. A reminder to us that God’s ways are not our ways.

Daughter Loretta and Dustin decided to not go to the supper either and brought supper here for our family. That was greatly appreciated! When little Denzel saw Grandma was crying, he kept kissing me. So sweet and innocent, yet so unaware of life’s trials.

Visitation for Albert was on May 23 and May 24 at the family’s residence. Funeral services were on Saturday, with around an estimate of 1,000 people attending.

Albert left to mourn beside his loving wife Sarah Irene (who never left his side through this cancer battle) and eleven children: Elizabeth (Amos), Benjamin (Ruby), Joseph (Amanda), Albert Jr. (Louanna), Irene (Levi), Emma (Johnny), Marvin (Lori), Leanna (Alvin), Andrew (special friend Diane), Susan, and Sylvia. Also 39 grandchildren and five sisters: Leah (Paul), Verena, Liz (Levi), Lovina (Joe), and Emma and sister-in-law Nancy.

Preceding him in death were his parents Ben and Elizabeth, his brother Amos, his sister Susan, and his brother-in-law Jacob, as well as his father-in-law Joseph and mother-in-law Elizabeth.

Albert and Sarah Irene’s church community did a wonderful job of making meals and supporting Sarah Irene and family. One of the ministers said that in the eleven years he knew Albert he never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. May we follow Albert’s example.

My husband Joe was off work most of last week. He has been having health issues, and after seeing the doctor they doubled his medication, so we hope it will give him relief.

Joe misses Albert at work after working with him the past three years at the Metal and Truss Shop. I told Albert, “Joe said you are like a brother to him at work,” and Albert replied that he couldn’t have had a better man to work with. Precious memories! Rest in peace, dear brother!

We want to thank everyone that showed support in any way to the family. May God bless you for your kindness! Thank you for all your prayers. Please keep Sarah Irene and her family in your prayers as they face life without their loving father, grandfather, and husband. God makes no mistakes! God bless!

Blueberry Whoopie Pies
2 cups shortening or butter
8 eggs
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups flour
3 cups blueberries

Mix shortening or butter until fluffy. Add eggs and continue to mix. Add sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Mix well. Add flour gradually. Roll blueberries in flour to keep from coloring dough. Gently fold in blueberries. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Blueberry Filling
1 cup shortening or butter
7 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup blueberries

Note: Use rounded measures

Beat shortening or butter until creamy. Add sugar, flour, vanilla, and milk. Beat well. Add blueberries. Beat about 10 minutes. Put filling on bottom of one cookie and sandwich it with the bottom of another cookie. Wrap and keep refrigerated.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

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