This is Chapter 2 in our first story of "How We Met" written by my friend, Tabitha..........
To be honest, my first, inner response was "Oh, no. I'll have to say 'no'." I just couldn't imagine it. He was very nice, but so quiet. He was from Canada. He was from "that" church. He didn't seem like my type, if you'll pardon the cliche.
I don't remember much of the next few hours, except for waiting until Dennis Eash came back to work for the afternoon. Dennis was the administrator at the Home, and he was the go-to man for all the staff. The two of us also worked together in making out the weekly staff schedule, and he and his wife Wanda were my good friends. They knew me quite well, the good and the bad, and were always gracious and forthright. I always knew where I stood with Dennis.
Finding Dennis in his office, I asked if we could talk. I sat down in one of the chairs facing his desk, and said, "You'll never believe who I got a letter from today." He waited. "Peter Schmidt," I announced.
I don't know what I expected, but not what I got. He NODDED. "I know," he said.
"Peter wrote me about you a while back," Dennis explained, quite calmly. "He asked about you, and if you were dating anyone." (Well. That would have been awkward.)
"What did you tell him?"
"I said you were a nice girl and we think a lot of you." (I honestly can't remember what he said he told Peter -- but they were good things.)
"Did you tell him the bad things about me?" I asked, almost hopefully.
"No." Dennis chuckled. "I thought he could find those out for himself."
My sister in Pennsylvania had a baby that same day, and my mom was traveling from Ohio to see her. I arranged to travel with another staff girl to meet Mom in Harrisburg, then travel with her to my sister's place. I told Mom then, and of course my sister. Peter had already asked (and received) Dad's permission to write me, but Mom and Dad hadn't breathed a word.
The next week I talked to Wanda Eash, and after talking with her I felt my heart beginning to change. Talking to Dad made a big difference too. We hadn't been close over the years and I seldom had a deeply personal conversation with him, though I had a high respect for him and loved him a lot. But one night we talked about me and Peter, and he was so encouraging. He's quiet, and my mom isn't so much, so I asked him about that. "Don't you mind that Mom talks more than you do?" I wondered. "No," he replied, "it's kind of nice!" That made me laugh, but it also helped me realize that my dread of being like Check and Sussann was perhaps unfounded. Check and Sussann were our elderly Amish neighbors while I was growing up, and they were a study in opposites. Check was shy, awkward, quiet, smiling. Susann was voluble, voluble, voluble. They were dear people and wonderful neighbors, but I didn't want to be like them.
And our names! Peter! No one I knew was named Peter. And I wasn't sure about his last name, either. Would I really have to give up Beachy for Schmidt? (I meant, of course, if I were to say yes and if we were to get married.) And, too, Peter the apostle was the one who raised Tabitha the seamstress from the dead in Acts 9. I didn't think of this right then, but it was certainly brought to my attention later. Really. What were the odds?
I talked to a few more friends that week, and God kept on changing my heart through their wise words. Many of the things holding me back were unfounded fears.
In mid-September I wrote Peter back and told him "yes!"
But! I had some conditions. (Nervy.) I just wanted to write at first. No phone calls or dates, yet. Maybe after Christmas we could actually start dating. The idea of going out with a-- well, not a stranger, but, well, anyway, there you are. And Christmas? Peter coming to our house for Christmas? during my precious vacation time with my beloved family? Noooo.
But we could write letters. And it was still a secret. Except, of course, to the people who knew.