My Aunt Von was a living example of grace. For no good reason, way before we were old enough to distinguish from the rest of the cousin crowd, she decided that my sister and I were special, that if I said so it must be right, that I would be the smartest doctor, or looked like a movie star. Once she decided so, she stuck with her opinion, fiercely loyal. And her love extended to Scott and our kids. There is no one besides my parents that could have been more determinedly devoted.
Tears have flowed freely today, and frequently. Aided no doubt by tangible sadness right under my hands, including a baby who died while we tried to save her life, the 5th of her mother's five babies to do so, in spite of months of nutritional therapy she had disappeared into Congo and only resurfaced cold and withered with gasping breaths and convulsions. I could not stop the shattering of this mother's life yet again, and I wished I was back closer to my family in this time of grief instead of in this hospital full of neediness and disaster. It was a long day, and my team mates bravely gave me hugs, listening ears, and space when I needed it, to make it through.
So tonight I reflect on this woman who gave me grace, my whole life. Barely 5 feet tall (in heels), not prone to speak of religion, still she was a picture of God for me, of unconditional and undeserved love.