Key to Love

         Key to Love

Some forty years ago we bought a bolt

With shiny key to lock our rose front
Did we intend to safeguard love inside,
Or try to keep intruding strangers out?
Who knows—but as our neighbors came to call,
 Intruders quickly changed to friend and with
Love safe, our rose front door was
seldom locked.
Our house bounced up and down with
teenage fun 

As school friends came to spend an
            hour or two.
         That rose front door, unlocked, fanned
in and out,
         Perpetually in motion to our needs.
         Activity prevailed until our teens
         Became adults. We gently shoved them
         But should we lock our door? They might
be back…

         They were—through little ones who
climbed our trees
         And played with Grandpa’s wooly, baby lambs
         And, built damp sand-pile castles in
the shade.
         Through almost twenty years of
childhood days.
         But marriage took them far from
Grandpa’s house
         And we held memories and one brass key.

         I locked that door when Grandpa left my
         And I sat down alone in waning
         The sheep were sold, and gardens shrunk
in size
         Until I had to sell that proud old
         I moved into a smaller place to live
         With memories including one brass key
         That never locked that rose front door
on love.

         This poem has many memories for me. In
the second stanza, I was one of the rollicking teenagers. I remember working
out in the garden with my parents, practicing the piano, and singing with my
brothers. Now, I am past the age when Mother wrote this poem, and I see her
point of view in many ways. 
         Our home is pictured at Christmas time.
I remember leaving to go to college, leaving after I married, and leaving to
bring Mom to where we lived in her final years. 
         In a span of ten years after my parents’
50th Wedding Anniversary in 1978, Mom endured severe illnesses. She began
writing more poetry, took college courses in writing, directed the church
choir, played for innumerable weddings and funerals, and church services.  She taught Bible classes and piano lessons,
often forty-five a week.  A Rogers
reporter wrote about Mother. The article headlines ‘Rogers poet gladly faces challenges’, ‘sees beautiful where others see plain’.  My
problem with my life is, I have been cluttered with ‘outlets’
. I’m searching hunting, for what I can do to
touch some for the future
          Mom knew this earthly house as a home
of joy!  For her children, and then for
grandchildren.  Whenever the
grandchildren came to visit, they learned many things from their grandparents,
besides how to play checkers and dominos. 
Feeding chickens, playing with the sheep Grandpa tended, and ‘baling hay’
(a physical exercise) with Grandpa. Our children learned to follow Jesus.
           In 1979, my Dad left this life. With a
smile, he was ushered into Heaven.  In
the year of 1986, Mom and I wrote dual articles – Should Mother Move, and Shouldn’t Mother Move?  These were printed in the Lookout Magazine. For the last time, my
brothers and I came home, to help Mom move to Arkansas. Her health was failing.
One lady told me, your brothers have some of her earthly possessions, but you
have the best – your Mother.  Mother
carved a new life, with new friends and a new church family where she
          And now the verses of John 14:1-3, remind me
of the Joy of Mom’s new home – where there is no need for keys or bolts, no
fear of intruders, no tears or sadness. Where there are no shadows, the Light
of our Lord’s Glory shines.  No
separation and goodbyes, for death is vanquished through Jesus Christ.
         Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust
also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If
this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for
you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will
always be with me where I am
         Mom made this house a home of Joy. She
remains my first teacher, who taught me to love God and search for Him.  Mom’s compass in life had one true setting she
followed – God’s Way and His Word.
in the 
Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land
and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you
do to the 
Lord. Trust him, and He will help you. He will make your innocence
radiate like the dawn,
 and the justice of your
cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of
Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about
evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Psalm 37:3-7. 


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