By Wanda E. Brunstetter
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Extra resources for A Merry Heart
Slowly, as though she were in a daze, she made her way across the room to her dresser. She knelt on the floor and pulled open the bottom drawer with such force that it nearly fell out. As she removed the stack of letters she had received from William during his time in Ohio, a sob caught in her throat. Her hands shook as she fumbled through the envelopes until she found his final letter. In a shaky voice, she read it out loud: Dear Miriam, I’ve always thought of you as a special friend, so I wanted you to be the first to hear my good news.
Com. In loving memory of my sister-in-law, Miriam (Mim) Brunstetter, who always had a merry heart. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones. ” “Jah, my brother Sam says she’s just en alt maedel who never smiles. ” Miriam Stoltzfus halted as she stepped out of the one-room schoolhouse. She recognized the voices of Sarah Jane Beachy and Andrew Sepler and noticed that they were playing on the swings nearby. Perhaps some of the children’s words were true. At the age of twenty-six, Miriam was still unmarried, and as far as she was concerned, that made her an old maid among the Old Order Amish group to which she belonged.
She placed the wild pansies on the teacher’s desk and hurried to her seat before Miriam had a chance to respond. Miriam studied the delicate flowers; they were a lovely shade of purple. It was kind of Amos to send them, but she was disturbed by the fact that he could look into her heart and see her sadness. Perhaps I do seldom smile, she thought, but then there needs to be a reason to smile. If God wants me to be happy, then why did He allow William to crush my heart with his deception? She forced her gaze away from the pot of flowers and scanned the room to see if any of the children were absent.