Treasures Mom Left Behind

May 12, 2019

Gloria May Schiewe

Mom, I can think of no greater gift to give you today, wherever you may be in this vast universe, than my latest book. It’s dedicated to both you and Dad, and it’s titled, The Dutchman and Portland’s Finest RoseA Love Story Inspired by the Life of Football Legend Norm Van Brocklin.

This journey has taken me over four years to research and write. It began when I rediscovered your 53 love letters from your sweetheart, wrapped in twine and stowed away. Did you hope they would be discovered one day? Did you have plans for them? Or were they just reminders of a precious love that you revisited from time to time, savoring each page, running your fingertips across the fading ink as you drifted back in time when the present world seemed too much to bear? These are but a few questions I have asked myself along the way.

Wedding day, March 27, 1947

I realize if you had the opportunity and the time to write your own story, it would probably be different from the one I have written. I’m a grown woman with the unique perspective of being able to look back at your life as a young woman.  I admire your honesty, your intelligence, and your inner beauty, finding a newfound respect for the challenging life that awaited both you and Dad. I chose to write about that tender time, that magical moment when you fell in love, and you both committed yourselves to each other and an unknown future. How brave you were!

New parents, Los Angeles, California, 1950

You left many clues, little gems I discovered while rummaging through scrapbooks and shifting through piles of random papers, which included poems, lists of vocabulary words, your teaching assistant contract stating your paltry salary, the addresses of every house and apartment you lived in, photos, and news clippings. I couldn’t ignore the notion you had left these for me to find. Somehow I knew I was meant to do something with what you kept and left behind.

Happy Mother’s Day! Love, Karen

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