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Today I am going to share with you something that I hold near and dear to my heart – Letters from home. I call them “Dear Emma” letters. Over the last 7 years (almost 8) I have received 128 letters from my family. ONLY 128! I think there should be more, but I’ll take what I got and treasure them. Forever. Unless my apartment burns down, but let’s not worry about that. They are all in a shoebox stored away in a closet. Some letters are very sweet and innocent and others were written with the intent to hurt my heart, but I still take them as a treasure. I can’t help but notice that in the last two years the letter writing has diminished to almost nothing. In the last five months I’ve written my mother twice and have not heard back from her or anyone else. But who is to blame? I am the one that left the Amish. I am the one that broke my parent’s hearts. I am the one that decided to break the rules.
If there was any other way I could have done it, I would have. I know that two letters in 5 months is not that much. However, in the past if I wrote too often, they accused me of being miserable, sad, and a confused wayward child. I have often heard the words, “Aren’t you ready to come back home, you don’t seem to be happy?” Or “Your brother Jacob and his wife need help when their fourth baby comes, don’t you want to work for them?.” And the latest comment I heard was from my father back in May when I was home to visit. While we were standing in his shop he said, “I need a young married couple to live on my farm and help me in the furniture shop.” Hehehe! 😉 Sorry Dad, I know you were talking straight to me even though your face was turned away. I can’t imagine being married to an Amish man, of course I didn’t say that to him.

I wish I could say, I am ready to go home for good, but that’s not what’s in my heart. It is sad, but I have no yearning whatsoever to be Amish again. Yes, I want my parents happy again. I want to spend time with my brothers and sisters and make them happy. But I can’t do that. Period. If they are not happy, then they have to work on it themselves.
Over the years, I have tried to keep in communication with my family in hopes that someday they see me for the person I am. But I feel like I am failing. It feels as if I am loosing connection with them. I don’t feel like a daughter or sister anymore. They simply can’t connect with my life and I am losing that Amish connection with them. Which explains why the letter writing has slowed down. I could write hundreds of pages explaining what my life is like and they wouldn’t get it. I’ve tried letting them know on small dosages about college, work life, and the people I meet, but I still fail to connect. Maybe some of my brothers and sisters can relate to me still, but not my mother. For some reason, I have a great deal of longing for a mother’s love. I wish I could call my mom and ask her to have coffee with me at Starbucks tomorrow morning at 7:00. I wish I could ask her to go to the movies with me. I wish I could just call her whenever I am bursting with excitement because I made an “A” in class or a prince charming asked me out on a date. Lol. 😉 that last one she would not like! The problem is if she would have a phone where I could call her, I would not get any more letters. I would not be so excited every day to open up the mailbox and get a rush of anticipation that there might be a letter from home.
I had to choose between leaving and staying Amish, and I chose to leave and I guess God didn’t want me to have best of both worlds – so I make the best of it as much as I can. My heart melts a little every time I hear that someone is spending time with their mom or the family. And my heart saddens every time someone looses a precious family member. Enjoy every moment while you can! 🙂

Letters from Jan 2006 – 2013