Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Beloved Christmas Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter, and Richelle Brunstetter, © 2017

Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith

       One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women
Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.

 My Review:

The beginnings of a treasured quilt passed down to the next generation. Not only that is passed down, but wonderful writings!! I must confess the last story is my favorite written by Mrs. Brunstetter's granddaughter, Richelle... but, let's start at the beginning.

Luella's Promise
by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
Day breaks like any other ~ sunshiney, barn chores, an awaited breakfast with family around the table. Luella Ebersol is then on her way to her beloved friend's home to care for her. Dena Zook is looking to the ways of her family, and it includes Luella.

It's always interesting to see how the Amish haul their building supplies. Atlee Zook becomes a strong figure in the story. I would like to have entered his woodworking shop with the scents of curly shavings about as he concentrates to complete his orders for his customers. His young son, Daryl, is well taken care of by Luella as she continues working in their home after the passing of his wife.

Karen's Gift
by Jean Brunstetter

Lykens, Pennsylvania
This is a beautiful story of adjusting to a move away from parents and the decisions Karen Allgyer and her husband, Seth, each come to in regard to their home. As their family grows, the relationship is continued for the children with visits from their grandparents.

Seth's growth in character is developed and enriched as he deepens relationship within their immediate family and faces challenges on his work duties. Open communication becomes a strength for them as Seth and Karen learn by sharing their hearts together.

Roseanna's Groom
by Richelle Brunstetter

Lykens, Pennsylvania
This story is about Seth and Karen Allgyer's children as they are older. I liked so much the closeness of this family covering three generations. The joy within the home is so apparent by the connection of their lives and shared fun and chores between them. With difficulties faced, they listen to each other and develop strong bonds that enable them to go forward and to trust the Lord with their lives.
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
Proverbs 16:20
I especially liked the decision-making process that formed truth in their lives by depending on the Lord. A continuation of generations before them developed into a love that endures.

Image result for amish pies
A pie recipe follows each story!

EnJ*O*Y this excerpt from The Beloved Christmas Quilt

Luella’s Promise
by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Chapter 1

Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania

Luella Ebersol had never been lazy, but this morning it was all she could do to push the covers aside and pull herself out of bed. She’d put in long hours yesterday, taking care of Atlee Zook’s wife, Dena, and their son, Daryl. When Dena’s health declined a few months ago, Luella had been hired as her caregiver while Atlee was at work in his shop or had to be away from home for other reasons. Atlee usually stayed home from their biweekly church services on Sundays, so Luella could go with her family, but sometimes she sat with Dena, allowing Atlee to attend the service.
   It was not easy leaving the warm confines of her blankets this morning, and Luella cringed when her bare feet touched the cold wooden floor. The late November weather had turned chilly, and snow was in the forecast. The dull light coming into her room was an indication of how dreary it was outdoors. The Indian-summer days of autumn were gone, and she already missed having the windows open at night. “I’ll never complain about hot summer days again,” Luella mumbled as she slipped into her robe and fuzzy slippers.
   Quickly making the bed, she shivered, guiding her hands over the sheets and covers to smooth them out. Mama was probably downstairs scurrying around the kitchen; which prompted Luella to close her eyes and inhale deeply. Tantalizing aromas drifting up from the kitchen made her stomach gurgle in protest.
   Walking over to the window, Luella ran her fingers down the moisture on the glass. Looking toward the barn, she saw the door was open. Dad had most likely been there awhile, getting his morning chores done.
   Forcing herself away from the view, Luella needed to hurry and dress so she could help get breakfast on the table. Surely, her full-of-energy, twelve-year-old sister, Sara, would already be there. Luella and Sara were ten years apart, so with the exception of their easygoing personalities, they had little in common. Sara liked to be outdoors with the animals, whereas Luella enjoyed indoor things like embroidery work, reading, and cooking. One of her favorite things to make this time of year was apple butter bars. She’d baked a batch of them last night to take over to the Zooks’ this morning.
   “And I’d better get dressed or I’ll never get there.” Luella washed her face and hands with water from the basin on her dresser then chose a plain, dark blue dress to wear. Once she’d gotten dressed and put on her shoes, she secured her hair in a bun and put her heart-shaped white head covering on.
   Downstairs in the kitchen, the first thing she did was slip her black apron on. “What’s for friehschtick, and what can I do to help you?” she asked her mother.
   Mom turned from where she stood at the stove. “Thought we’d have pannekuche for our breakfast this morning.”
   Luella grinned. “Pancakes sound good to me. Shall I mix up the batter?”
   “Already done.” Mom stepped aside and pointed to the griddle on the stove, where bubbles formed on the surface of four nice-sized pancakes. “Sara set the table, and now she’s outside helping your daed in the barn.”
   Luella’s brows furrowed. “How come Samuel’s not helping Dad feed the animals? Did my little bruder sleep in this morning?”
   “Your brother came down with the flu during the night. He’s resting in bed.”
   “I’m sorry to hear it. Sure hope he feels better soon and no one else gets it.” Luella especially didn’t want to get sick. It would mean not being able to take care of Dena, and Luella certainly didn’t want her dear friend to get the flu. It was bad enough Dena’s heart was failing. Atlee’s wife was pure sweetness, and although her heart had weakened, she never complained. According to what the doctor had told Atlee, Dena would not live to see their young son become a man.
   “Daughter, did you hear what I said?” Mom tapped Luella’s shoulder, halting her contemplations.
   Luella turned around. “Ach. Sorry, Mom. I was deep in thought.”
   Mom gave a nod. “It looked as if you were.”
   “What did you say to me?”
   “I asked what time you need to be at the Zooks’.”
   Luella glanced at the battery-operated clock. “I should leave within the hour.”
   “Then we’d best eat soon. Why don’t you run out to the barn and tell your daed and schweschder to stop what they’re doing and come in for breakfast? If they’re not done, they can finish up when the meal is over.”
   “Okay, Mom.” Luella pulled her woolen shawl from the wall peg and slipped out the back door.
   Pulling the shawl tighter around her shoulders as she approached the barn, Luella heard Dad whistling. He always made music when he fed the livestock. Luella felt blessed to have such a cheerful father. For that matter, both of her parents had positive attitudes, even when faced with trials. Luella hoped someday, when she was married and had children, that she could set a good example for them as well.
   Upon entering the barn, Luella spotted her sister down on her knees, petting one of the barn cats.
   Luella cleared her throat real loud and, with a jerk of her head, Sara looked up. “You shouldn’t sneak up on a person like that. Almost gave me a hatzschlack.”
   Hearing her sister say “heart attack” caused Luella to think about poor Dena again. Ever since she had begun working for Atlee, she thought about him and his wife’s situation. How sad it would be to marry someone and then a few years later learn they were gravely ill.
   In an effort to redirect her thoughts, Luella knelt beside Sara and reached out to stroke the cat. “I thought you were supposed to be helping Dad feed the animals.” She wagged her finger.
   Sara’s pale brows lowered, and she pushed a lock of silky blond hair back under the head scarf she wore to do chores. “For your information, I’ve already fed the katze and the hund, so now I’m just takin’ a little time to pet Cloud.”
   Luella snickered. Her sister loved animals and had named every one of their cats. This one she called Cloud because of its fluffy white fur. “Okay, Sara, I understand, but Mom sent me out here to fetch you and Dad so we could eat breakfast.”
   Sara rose to her feet. “Oh, good ’cause I’m hungerich.”
   Luella smiled. “You go ahead to the house, and I’ll get Dad.”
   “All right. See you up in the kitchen.” Her sister scampered out the door with Cloud following close behind.
   First, Luella paused to check on Buttercup, the Nubian goat her parents got for her sixteenth birthday. The floppy-eared goat came to the front of the stall and bleated, most likely hoping Luella would follow through with the normal ear scratching. “Don’t worry, I didn’t forget you, Buttercup.” Luella had to giggle when the goat leaned into her hand as she scratched behind its ears. “Why, I believe you are actually smiling.”
   After fussing with Buttercup, Luella followed Dad’s whistles to the back of the barn. She found him inside the stall of Mom’s buggy horse.
   Seemingly engrossed in his chore of spreading fresh straw, Dad didn’t notice her at first. It wasn’t easy running a farm, but somehow he put enjoyment behind the hardest of work. Even now, as her father followed his normal routine of freshening the stall, one would never know he’d been up before daybreak, putting in a few hours before breakfast.
   She stood watching him a few seconds longer, until he paused to wipe his forehead. “Ach, Luella! I didn’t hear you come in. How long have you been standing there?”
   “Not long at all. I’ve enjoyed the tune you’ve been whistling, while watching you work.”With tender emotions, she looked at her dad. “You know what I always say, Dad. ‘Keep your happiness in circulation.’”
   He grinned, giving his full dark beard a tug. “You know me. . . always singin’ or whistlin’ when I have chores to do.”
   She nodded. “The reason I came out is to tell you breakfast is about ready. Since I have to leave for the Zooks’ house soon, Mom said I should call you in to eat.”
   He gestured to the pile of straw yet to be spread. “I still have a little more work here.”
   “I know, but Mom thought you could finish up after breakfast.”
   He reached under his straw hat and scratched his head. “Jah, I suppose I could do that all right. Who knows, I might be able to work a lot harder once my belly is full.” Dad winked at Luella. “Agreed?”
   She grinned up at him. “Jah, Dad, I agree. But ya better not eat too much, or it’ll make you sleepy.”
   “I’ve never looked at it that way,” her father said with a chuckle, as he put his arm around Luella’s shoulder and they walked out of the barn together.

“How is Dena doing today?” Luella asked when Atlee let her into his house.
   “Not well.” Atlee slowly shook his head, glancing toward their bedroom, which was on the first floor. “She didn’t sleep well last night, so I insisted she stay in bed this morning and rest.” He reached up to rub his neck. The poor man’s somber expression said it all; he was worried about his wife.
   Luella wanted to offer him comfort but wasn’t sure how. She certainly couldn’t give Atlee a hug, like she did whenever Dad was troubled about something. That would be inappropriate. “I’m sorry, Atlee. I’ll keep Daryl entertained today and make sure Dena’s needs are met.”
   His shoulders drooped, and he rubbed the heel of his palm against his chest. Luella saw only sadness in Atlee’s brown eyes. His thick, dark brows, matching the color of his hair and beard, pulled downward. He looked so defeated. “According to the doctor, short of a miracle, my fraa doesn’t have long to live.”
   Luella’s heart went out to him. Although Atlee tried to stay strong for his wife and son, she could see the stress was wearing on him. Dark circles under his eyes suggested he’d gotten very little sleep last night. She’d been praying and praying for Dena, but the dear woman seemed to be getting weaker every day. How would Atlee cope when she was gone? How would their son manage without a mother? At times such as now, Luella couldn’t help but question God. Why did He call some people home in the prime of their life, while others got to live to a ripe old age? It didn’t seem fair, but it wasn’t her place to question God. As their bishop had said in a sermon lately, “God’s ways are not our ways, and He has a plan for every one of His people, even if we can’t see or understand it.”
   Luella tilted her head toward the stairs but heard no noise coming from up there. The Zooks’ house was a large two-story, with one bedroom down, and the other four bedrooms on the second floor. “Is Daryl still in bed?” she asked, feeling the need to talk about something else—something that didn’t speak of death.
   “Jah.” Atlee ambled over to the woodstove and picked up the coffeepot. “Would you like a cup of kaffi, Luella?”
   “No, thank you. I’ll fix you some friehschtick, though.”
   He shook his head. “I’ve already had breakfast.”
   Luella glanced at the table, where only Atlee’s empty cup set. No sign of any plates having been out, nor was there a frying pan or kettle on the stove. “What did you have?”
   “I ate a piece of that tasty shoofly pie you made yesterday, to go with my coffee.”
   “I see.” She glanced at the kitchen sink, but it was empty.
   As if he could read her thoughts, Atlee quickly said, “I didn’t use a deller. I put the pie on a napkin and ate it with my fingers.” He held up his hand and wiggled his fingers. “It got kind of sticky, but that’s what soap and wasser are for.”
   She resisted the urge to laugh, certain that he didn’t mean it to be funny. Truthfully, the only time Luella saw Atlee laugh, or even smile, was when he took time out from his job to play with his son. Atlee had a woodworking shop in a separate building on his property, where he made doghouses, birdhouses, picnic tables, lawn chairs, and some small storage sheds. He did most of the work himself, but one of the young Amish men in the area came to help when Atlee had too many orders to fill. At noontime and at least once more during the day, Atlee came into the house to check on Dena and spend a little time with Daryl. If Luella had learned one thing about Atlee since she’d been working for him, it was that he was a devoted husband and father. She hoped to find a man someday who would be equally devoted to her. For now, though, her only goal in life was to be a good caregiver for Dena and see that Daryl had everything he needed. That’s what Atlee had hired her for, and she wouldn’t let him down.

Chapter 2

Luella took a seat in the chair beside Dena’s bed, while Daryl played with his wooden horse on the floor nearby. Luella had brought the boy into the bedroom with her, partly so she could keep an eye on him and also to give Dena a chance to be with her son.
   “You don’t have to sit here with me.” Dena’s brown eyes closed then fluttered open. It was an obvious struggle for her to stay awake. “I’m sure you have other things to do.”
   Luella shook her head. “The lunch dishes are done, and the laundry is hanging on the line outside, so there isn’t much I need to do till it’s time to bring the clothes in and start supper.” She touched Dena’s pale hand. “Besides, I enjoy talking with you. But if you’re too tired to visit, I can come back later to check on you and see if there’s anything you need.”
   “What I need is to get up and do something meaningful. I don’t know why Atlee insisted I stay in bed all day.” Dena released a lingering sigh. “I feel so useless.”
   “Would you like me to bring your basket of yarn so you can sit up in bed and knit or crochet?”
   “I suppose I could do that, but it’s not the same as cooking for my family, cleaning house, or going for a walk with my precious little bu.” When Dena turned her head to look at Daryl, tears gathered in the corner of her eyes. “I’m missing so much not being able to care for him like I should, and. . .” Her voice lowered. “It breaks my heart to think that I won’t be around to see him start school.”
   Luella gently squeezed her friend’s fingers. “Please don’t talk like that, Dena. You must not give up hope.”
   Dena lifted a shaky hand to push a wisp of auburn hair away from her colorless cheek. “My hope lies in Jesus, but I have to face reality. My heart’s not getting any stronger, and it’s only a matter of time until. . .” Her voice trailed off as several tears seeped out from under her lashes. “There’s so much I want to tell you, Luella, but I can barely keep my eyes open. We can talk later. But for now, why don’t you take Daryl outside to play while I take a nap?”
   Luella nodded. “I can do that. Is there anything I can do or get for you before we head outdoors?”
   “No, I’m fine. I just need to sleep for a while.”
   Luella patted Dena’s arm then tucked the lovely quilt covering her bed up under her chin. “I’ll be in to check on you after we come back inside.”
   “Danki.” Dena closed her eyes.
   Luella continued to sit a few more minutes, until she was sure Dena had fallen asleep. Then she left her chair, took Daryl’s hand, and led him silently from the room.

“Why can’t Mammi come outside with us?” Daryl’s innocence tugged at Luella’s heart.
   “Your mamma is a little tired still, and she needs her rest.”
   With no more questions, Daryl stretched out each arm while Luella slipped his jacket on, then put her heavy woolen shawl around her shoulders.
   As they stepped off the porch, Luella stopped. In certain spots, sunlight glistened on the grass, making dewdrops sparkle like tiny diamonds. But in other shaded areas, yet untouched by the warmth of the afternoon sun, frosty patterns coated the still-frozen blades of grass. Luella was glad they both wore heavier attire, as she blew air from her mouth and watched the vapor dissolve into the cold, nippy air.
   “Schnee! Schnee!” Daryl pointed to the thin layer of sparkling ice lingering on the trees in the Zooks’ backyard.
   “No, Daryl, it’s frost, not snow,” Luella said in Pennsylvania Dutch. At the age of four, he was still too young to understand most English words, but that would change when he turned six and went to school.
   The boy tipped his auburn head back, looked up at her curiously, and repeated the word schnee.
   She didn’t correct him this time. He’d learn the difference between snow and frost eventually. As chilly as it was, all too soon Daryl would be correct in yelling, “Schnee.”
   Luella watched as the young lad ran through the yard, making a matted-down trail in the frost as he went. While Daryl was content amusing himself, she turned and looked back at the large, five-bedroom house. How exciting it must have been when the Zooks were first married and moved into this place.
   She wiped the tears that had escaped her eyes. No doubt they’d planned for a big family with plenty of children to fill all those bedrooms—hopes and dreams that would never be fulfilled.
   Continuing to study the house, Luella couldn’t help noticing all the beautiful shrubbery planted here and there. In between the bushes, and along the fence line surrounding their property, were remnants of late summer and autumn flowers, now blackened or lifeless by the brutal cold frost. Dena must have felt such joy when planting those flowers and watching them bloom, adding color to the landscape. Tending the house, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her husband and son—it would be hard to give it all up.
   As Luella looked around the rest of the property toward the barn, and then back to Daryl, the ache inside her grew deeper, knowing what all three of these good people would be losing. It was a horrible situation, no matter from whose perspective she looked at it. Dena was losing out on all the hopes and dreams she would have shared growing old with her husband.
   I can’t even think what will happen to Atlee and Daryl once Dena is gone. Will Atlee stay here, or will it be too hard to be reminded daily of the precious memories he and Dena made inside and outside this home? Will this land and house be too big for just him and his son?
   Luella knew when the time came, only Atlee could decide what would work best for him and the boy. Oh, how her heart ached for them, though.
   Startling Luella out of her thoughts, Daryl ran up to her and pointed to the frosty designs in the grass. “Look what I did.” He giggled as the sun went behind a cloud.
   “Now that is quite pretty, isn’t it?” Luella had to chuckle at Daryl’s pleasure, even with the foreboding going through her mind. Taking a deep breath, she reached for the boy’s hand. “Why don’t we go for a walk?”
   “Daadi! Daadi!” Daryl pointed across the way to his father’s woodshop.
   Atlee would be busy, but to deny his son the right to say hello wouldn’t be right, either. “Okay, we’ll go see your daddy. But only for a little while, because he has work to do.”
   Luella thought about the shoofly pie Atlee had eaten for breakfast this morning, and wondered if he’d like another piece. Or maybe he would enjoy some of the apple butter bars she’d brought from home.
   “Let’s go inside for a minute and get a treat for your daed.” She guided Daryl toward the house. “Would you like some dessert, Daryl?”
   The boy’s round face broke into a wide smile as he bobbed his head. “Kichlin.”
   She smiled. They weren’t cookies, but it was all the same to Daryl. Maybe along with the bars, I’ll take a Thermos of coffee out to Atlee.

Atlee’s stomach growled. It had only been a few hours since lunch, but for some reason he was hungry. Guess I should have had a second sandwich when Luella offered it to me. That’s what I get for bein’ polite. Atlee appreciated Luella’s willingness to help out. Of course, she was being paid for her work. But he had a hunch the young woman would have done it without any pay.
   It amazed him how quickly his wife and her caregiver had become friends. Even though they were more than ten years apart, Dena and Luella always seemed to have something to talk about. In addition to keeping Dena company and Daryl entertained, Luella was an excellent cook, and they were all well fed. She also did the laundry, cleaning, and other household chores, all without the slightest complaint. Luella was patient and kind, and most always had a smile on her face. Hiring Luella had been the best medicine he could have given his precious Dena.
   When the door to his shop opened, Atlee’s musings came to a halt. Seeing Luella and Daryl come in, he dropped what he was doing and went over to greet them.
   “Daryl wanted to visit his daadi,” Luella explained. She held out the plate, along with Atlee’s old Thermos. “And I thought you might enjoy these apple butter bars and some coffee.”
   Grinning, he ruffled his son’s wavy hair. “You bet I would.”
   Daryl stood close to Atlee. While the two of them ate their share, Luella remained off to one side, watching them.
   “Aren’t you gonna join us?” Atlee gestured to a chair near his workbench. “Why don’t you have a seat?”
   “I ate a bar before we came out of the house.”
   “Well, there’s no reason you can’t have another. After all, you’re the one who made them.”
   A light in Luella’s blue eyes shone when she smiled and nodded. “True. All right, I’ll eat another one, but then Daryl and I need to go back in the house so I can check on Dena.”
   “How’s she doing this afternoon?” He poured himself some coffee and waited for her reply.
   “Dena seems quite tired today. She was sleeping when I left her.”
   Atlee gave his full beard a tug. “She didn’t sleep well last night, so I told her to stay in bed today.”
   “Jah, that’s what Dena said.”
   He set his coffee down and crossed his arms. “My wife would like to be up and around, doing all the things she used to do, but she’s not up for that anymore.” He paused, reaching around to rub a sore spot on his lower back. “I don’t know how we’ll get along without Dena. This may be our last Christmas together.” He paused, and glanced down at Daryl, glad his son couldn’t understand much English yet.
   “You mustn’t think that.” Luella tipped her blond head to one side. “Your wife may be here for a good many months yet.”
   Atlee groaned. “I hope so, Luella. Jah, I truly do. If only God would give us a Christmas miracle.”

Back in the house, Luella put Daryl down for a nap. He didn’t want to rest, of course, but after she read him a story, he fell asleep on the sofa. Now it was time to see how Daryl’s mother was doing.
   Luella peeked through the small opening in Dena’s door and was surprised to see her sitting up in bed. She poked her head into the room. “I see you’re awake now. Would you like some dessert and hot chocolate?”
   “Maybe after a while.” Dena glanced toward the door. “Where’s Daryl?”
   “He’s asleep on the living-room sofa.”
   “I’m glad. Some kinner his age don’t take naps anymore, but my son does better when he’s had one.” Dena offered Luella a weak smile. “He will be in a good mood during supper.”
   “Would you like to get up for a bit, and sit in your rocking chair?” Luella asked.
   “Maybe later. Right now, I need to talk to you about something.”
   Luella felt concern, seeing Dena’s serious expression. “What is it?” Biting her lip, she pulled the rocking chair next to the bed.
   Dena picked up one corner of the lovely quilt on her bed and held it close to her heart. “The pattern for this is called ‘Country Patch,’ but I call it my beloved Christmas quilt, because my mother, who made the covering, gave it to me and Atlee for Christmas the first year we were married.”
   “It is a lovely quilt. Your mamm was a talented quilter.”
   Dena got a faraway look in her eyes. “Jah, she certainly was. I miss my mamm and wish she was still alive to take care of Daryl when I’m gone.”
   Luella’s throat felt swollen, and it was difficult to swallow. She wished Dena would stop talking about her imminent death.
   “Would you do me a favor, Luella?”
   “Jah. What do you need?”
   “I’d like you to take this quilt home with you, as an early Christmas present.”
   “Ach, no, I could never accept such a gift.” Luella’s fingers touched her parted lips. “It should remain in your family; especially with it being a present from your mother. Besides, it’s not even Christmas yet.”
   Dena shook her head. “I may not be here to give it to you on Christmas Day. Please, Luella, I want you to have this beloved quilt. It would mean a lot to me, knowing you will someday pass the quilt on to your eldest daughter.”
   “But I’m not even married, and I may never find a husband, so really, you should reconsider.”
   Dena shook her head. “I have no sisters, and since my parents have both passed on, I have no family to give the quilt to. Please, Luella, I insist that you take it.”
   “Oh, okay. Danki, Dena. I will treasure it always.”
   Dena breathed in and out slowly. “I have another favor to ask.”
   Luella was hesitant to even ask what. She hoped her dear friend didn’t want to give her some other family heirloom. “What other favor?”
   “I want you to promise that after I’m gone, you will take care of Atlee and Daryl.”
   “Well, of course, I will come over and check on them regularly, but I really wish you wouldn’t talk of such things.”
   “It’s important that I say all this now.” Dena stroked the quilt lovingly. “My son will still need someone to care for him while Atlee’s working in his shop. And Atlee—well, he’s not good in the kitchen, and he won’t have time to clean house or do laundry. Won’t you please agree to keep working for him after I’m gone, as you are now? It would give me a sense of peace to know that my family will be taken care of after I die.”
   Luella had to force a smile as she nodded and said, “Jah, Dena, I will take care of the household and watch your son.”
   “Be a friend to Atlee, too.” Dena lowered her head. “Please. . . I know it won’t be easy for him, but he will need someone to talk to.” Luella squeezed her friend’s hand. “Jah, Dena, I will.”
   “My husband is trying to stay strong for me and our son, but I feel his sadness and the concern he has for me.” Tears welled up in Dena’s dark eyes as she released a sigh. “Danki, Luella. This means so much to me. I feel such a relief knowing you’ll be here for them.”
   Although she kept her thoughts to herself, Luella realized the decision of whether she would continue to work here or not would be up to Dena’s husband. She would only be able to keep her promise to Dena if Atlee agreed.
Wanda E. Brunstetter, The Beloved Christmas Quilt Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing, Inc., © 2017. Used by permission.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.**

        ~*~   Three Generations of Brunstetter Women   ~*~

author Richelle Brunstetter
author Jean Brunstetter
author Wanda E. Brunstetter

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