Traverse City Record-Eagle


Handwritten sorrow

Russ-Stick Acres, by Sherry SutherbyYesterday, earlier in the day, our mail was retrieved at the local post office.

After dinner, as the light was fading,

we settled in for the night, full and content.

I pulled out a letter from the small stack of mail.

I was excited. I had received a letter from a dear Amish lady,

a young mother, who I have visited with on occasion over the years.


wife of


I had ordered two lambs this spring from Levi, but when Russ was injured,

I wrote back and cancelled.

I hadn’t heard from them since,

but know they are busy on the farm and with family,

so it was a surprise to get the letter, after the fact.

As I read the letter, I gasped.

I exclaimed to Russ, who was sitting in the cabin across from me…“Yost died”.

Upon saying the words and dropping the letter to my lap,

both Russ and I were overcome with emotion for many minutes.

Russ slowly got up from his chair to retrieve Kleenex for us,

and we sat, in silence, soaking in the news.


To add to the sadness, his younger sister, Anna, had drawn me a picture of a dog,

which Mary so kindly included in the envelope.

A young boy, barely a teen, taken by cancer.

Here’s his story, that I wrote 2 years ago:

Simply Yost

And no, we never returned with the sled dogs.

Nor did I mail him the book I had ordered for him, about sled dogs.

It is sitting in the Wee House next to me on a chair, on my “to do” list.

In the back of my mind,
I had planned on delivering it to Yost in person this spring,

upon picking up the lambs,
not realizing he had joined his Father in Heaven earlier in the winter.

Yost is now in Heaven with his mother.

He entered Heaven the same day I retired.

And I look forward to seeing him someday…

Dear Heavenly Father, you are surrounded by such sweet children. Your children. It is only by your love that makes this pain tolerable. Knowing they are comforted by you, gives peace to those who have seen their child leave this world, for their Heavenly home. We know they will be safe until they are reunited with their loved ones.

In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Until tomorrow, God willing.

  • Jo Anne Wilson

    Thank you for sharing this story.  Just another reminder to live life to the fullest and to be grateful each and every day. 

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