Wednesday, July 6, 2011

an Iowa love story

 See that pretty young lady on the far right?

 That's Mathilda.  That's my Mom.

I  treasure the stories of my mother's youth.

In Iowa, we heard new old stories about first dates and pick-up lines.
 Sunday nights after church was courting time.

If you were the courting kind,
you took long walks around the main drag.
If you took long walks around the main drag,
you just might have caught someone's eye.
If you caught someone's eye,
you might have caught a ride,
and later...
you might have caught their heart.

Sounds a little dangerous to me,
but it worked like a charm for some of these folks. 

Oh, it was good stuff, I tell ya.
Good old fashioned Iowa love stories.

~ ~ ~
There is something extra special about these aunts and uncles.
Seeing them and being there reminds me of what it must be like
to go home and be loved.

 I never got the chance to "go home."
Home was packed up and sold when Mom and Dad died.
I had to move away, before I was ready to say goodbye.

My husband never knew my parents.
My children never will, at least not in this lifetime.
Very few of my friends do.

That's what makes going to Iowa so special..

They are more than just aunts and uncles to me.
They are Mathilda's brothers and sisters.

 (Mom and brothers at the piano, years ago)

They love her like I do.
They miss her like I do.

They are the ones
whose faces light up when they see you,
like they're seeing so much more.

When I see them, I see her.

And I think maybe for them, seeing us "kids" is like seeing Mom and Dad.

There are not necessarily many words expressed when we are together. 

We are the quiet type. 

But my heart hears much more-- 
the unspoken words well up as tears in our eyes.

As we were leaving and saying our goodbyes,
Uncle Clarence said to me,

"You sure do look like your mother."

I think we all do.

I'll treasure those few simple words for the rest of my life.

~ ~ ~

I think I could write an Iowa love story.
 Because here is where I find the kind of love 
that just cannot be found in any other faces or embraces,
but for the ones who knew Mathilda and loved her best.

I have never lived in Iowa, but it sure feels like home.


  1. You made me cry.


    You look just like your mother.

    That was a beautiful story.

  2. You look a lot like home to me, too. Come back soon.


  3. you have me tearing up & i'm the quiet type (bet ya never guessed --ha!) & i didn't even come over here to read.
    i'm a bit fond of iowa if i do say so myself. ;)
    yes, you do look a whole lot like your beautiful mama. :)