I wrote how my parents met, how my mother left her family and church to marry my father. But I neglected to tell you how the story ends. So today I am going to answer some questions about the rest of the story…
Did her family forgive her?
Yes. I really don’t know if they ever had a sit-down-talk-it-out conversations about her choices, but they certainly forgave her. I know a lot of people who leave the Amish are put in the ‘ban‘ and not associated with, etc. But for my mom it wasn’t that way. For whatever reason, she was treated kindly by her family, from what I know.
Does she have any contact with them?
Most certainly! She has a good relationship with each of her family members. They respect her religious beliefs, and hold nothing against her. In fact, out of 12 kids, only two are still Amish. My grandparents were Amish till they died, of course, but the rest of the kids have went separate paths. Several are Mennonite, and several have left the plain churches altogether. They still love God, mind you, and hold to the Christian faith, but just don’t follow the Amish/Mennonite beliefs.
I grew up being good friends with all my cousins, whether Amish, Mennonite, or whatever. My mom loved nothing better than a good chat (in PA Dutch, mind you!) with her sister!
My parents didn’t tell me a lot of details about their early married life – I just heard bits and pieces. I think because I was number 6 in line, I missed some of the stories? Anyways, from what I gathered, they lived in Maryland after their marriage, (same community as both families) and they would often go to one or the other of their families places for visits frequently. I think it was more of a culture shock for my mom to learn the non-plain way of living than it was for my dad to learn about Amish. They lived in MD for several years before moving to another state.
We frequently went back to MD to visit relatives when I was a kid, and my memories of those trips are all good. I loved both sides of the family. I feel privileged to have such a varied background. I feel right at home with my Amish family, and just as at home with my non-plain family on my dad’s side.
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!