“Time passes and we remain amazed”

Editor’s note: This week’s column is written by Gloria’s mother, Dorcas. Gloria is due next week – Kevin Williams, editor

“Time passes – fortunately time passes and we are amazed. God – we don’t know all the ins and outs, we don’t understand all the whys. But we know that You are God. You are good and you will sustain Gloria and her children Even when our hearts ache and are filled with tears… even when it sometimes seems brutal – yet deep down inside we know that, we know that God is good”

The above was my journal entry for this week and yes, God has been our lifeline through this difficult journey. Along with this, Gloria and her little flock, and we, were blessed with an outpouring of love and prayers. On his behalf (it means so much to me too!), here’s a BIG THANK YOU AND BLESSINGS TO YOU, for the hundreds of cards, the monetary gifts, the other gifts, and for all the love and care. It has been so comforting, so much like a cozy blanket, cushioning the grief of Daniel’s sudden passing in April.

On Wednesday, my husband David and I were lucky enough to be on Julia and Austin’s school program. The scholars had all been homeschooled, but one of the Church couples organized a program and met with the children to practice. Additionally, each family with scholars was responsible for finding a poem and memorizing it. It was a touching program, with a theme on “Hope”. Bravely (and still so clearly), Julia and Austin recited their poem together…

In one corner of the room was a special place, in memory of Daniel, with flowers, candles and a wall motto. My mother’s heart sank when I saw Gloria sitting in the crowd with her babies, and no Daniel by her side. Yet, deep down inside, I knew she was “well” – she has the Lord as her ever-present refuge. She is “well” even though she is going through a valley of grief such as she has never, ever faced before. Every time she turns, there are memories of Daniel because he was such a vital part of her life and the children’s lives. She chose to confront him frankly and wishes her children would too, rather than try to run away. She tells them about dad over and over again, from Julia, 10, to Joshua, almost 2. But there are also times when she needs space for herself, to process, to cry, to meditate, to pray.

Coming back to the program, after the last poem was recited and the last song was sung, it was time for lunch. The children are always so relieved to have the program passed! Why, Julia told me she was so nervous when she and Austin recited their poem, that she couldn’t hear her own voice!

Lunch was scrumptious – haystacks and a variety of frozen desserts. After lunch, students in grades 5-8), youth and youth softball players.

In another, smaller ballpark, a most unique game was being played. Students in grades 1-4 played ball against their mothers. They used a bigger, softer ball. There was really no point in counting strikes for the younger guys, or keeping score. It was simply a fun and racing time!

A wide variety of appetizers, and even meatballs, adorned the snack table. It was a good day, despite the new reminder that someone was missing who had always been there. Absent from our presence, yet we have the joyful assurance that Daniel is alive and well in the Presence of God.

I am going to share a recipe for one of the frozen desserts served at the school program. You will love it!

Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 ¼ tsp. crushed, Oreo cookies

¼ cup melted butter

2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

¼ tsp. chocolate syrup

2 tbsp. instant coffee

1 tbsp. Hot water

16 oz. cool whip

Instructions

1. Crust: Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Reserve ¾ cup breadcrumbs for the top. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 mould.

2. Beat cream cheese, condensed milk and chocolate syrup until smooth.

3. Dissolve coffee in hot water and add to cream cheese mixture.

4. Stir in Cool Whip.

5. Pour over crust and sprinkle with remaining ¾ breadcrumbs.

6. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

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