Where I Come From

I began in Iowa, land of flat cornfields

and people I love,

of honesty, integrity, loyalty, and peace.

The willow tree was in Iowa,

at Aunt Nadine and Uncle Phil’s.

I loved it, I climbed it and sat there by myself.

No one seemed to wonder where I was.

Did no one think to worry?

Or was I never really noticed at all?

Emily calls us “The Frozen People.”

I learned in my 30’s how to hug.

I’m flustered and shaken

when a friend says “I love you.”

I can never say “I love you” back,

even when I do.

I come from a family who likes to drink.

I was into my 20’s, already a mom

 when I named it alcoholism.

In later years it damaged Dad’s brain,

leading to strokes and a blessed death.

It destroyed my mother’s spirit

and left her an empty shell.

I swore I’d never be like either one.

I’m not, of course, but I came close.

So, I come from Iowa.

I value honesty and compassion.

My spirit’s thawed somewhat.

I will reach out and hug.

I laugh a lot.  It’s that or cry.

I’m probably a smartass,

but my friends don’t seem to mind.

Now I am where my kids are from.

“Don’t lie, don’t cheat and don’t be afraid.”

I talk about no expectations

and I share my trust of God.

Everyone has a story, I say,

and you can’t tell by looking what it is.

I pray for them and I love them.

That’s all there really is to do.

A day at a time, I co-create my lifetime.

God and I are on an adventure,

together we make a pilgrimage.

It starts out where I’m from

and ends up in infinity.

Amen.