-Monday poetry-

For today’s poetry selection, I want to share something my friend Sarah wrote recently. I never knew this man very well – he passed away not long after we moved to Kentucky – but I’m one of the masses of people across the country who felt nothing but respect for him.

My most vivid memories of him are his homemade sweet potato chips and the bedside stool he made for his petite wife so she could more easily get in and out of their high bed. And the tour he gave us of his wood shop one Thanksgiving afternoon – although, out of all the beautiful pieces of furniture he created, the piece that made the biggest impression on me was his own coffin. This is not your average guy.

Originally posted on Because I Can:


grandpa (wesley)

in my head,
there is always music
even when i want
the desperate quiet.
it’s your fault
and that is okay

standing in that pink kitchen
drying dishes
singing hymns
scheming how to get the next
root beer float
and suddenly
the little woman and i
are joined by

you take up the whole
room without saying
a word
pushing different love
at different people
and helping hearts heal

our duet suddenly becomes
a trio and that tenor
(oh for one more glimpse of that tenor)
has the power to move

that voice was placed in that throat
with those dinner plate hands
to speak truth
to sing love
to tell stories to awe struck grandchildren

people all over the country
treat me with respect
when i say i’m of your
and they talk about you
always singing

they say someone’s voice is the
first thing you forget
when someone is parted from you
i don’t believe that

i will not believe that

View Original


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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3 Responses to -Monday poetry-

  1. Bethel Camp says:

    Reblogged this on Bethel Camp and commented:
    This is from Sarah (Stoltzfus) Allen. She served here a number of years as a staff member on our summer ministry team and now serves as one of the board members of the camp. This camp has also benefited from the influence of Wesley Stoltzfus over the many years he spent mentoring kids at camp.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rosie says:

    Thanks – that’s all I can say right now

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Evie says:

    I love Sarah’s thoughts here; that’s beautiful. (Thanks for posting it, Ruthie.) I think we all have great memories of Wesley. And all of those Mennonite couples that left their home communities and moved to eastern KY following a “God” vision, they’ve all left a part of themselves in we kids who were born and “raised” loyal Kentuckians. God’s intents have been lived out very uniquely in each couple, and all the families will continue to reflect who our folks were and are. We’ve been given such a beautiful legacy.
    Our folks didn’t know if they’d have steady income when they chose to move to KY; they didn’t know if a church body would actually become a reality in their new community; they didn’t know if people would accept them; they didn’t know what the impact would be on their families; they didn’t have ready access to quickly take a trip back to see their folks. Just huge uncertainties. But they were CERTAIN of God’s call, and CERTAIN of His faithfulness and sovereignty. And they all knew how to love people–I think we all got that loud and clear in our growing up years. So now we get to pass on the treasure; hopefully not losing the precious parts but adding to them.
    Wesley certainly embodied what I’m talking about. His spirit continues on—I see it every time I come down for camp auction, in Martha and the rest of the family. This makes me hanker for an eastern KY hymnsing!

    Liked by 1 person

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