She was no angel. At 82 she was still beautiful, with elegant hands and a perfect profile. But she was no angel. Her sense of humor could be raunchy and cruel. She pulled people’s strings like a virtuoso. But she loved her children. And she loved her grandchildren. God, not so much.
We spoke about God. I shared my faith. She shared her life and her death. Homebound, she told me stories of being a young artist in Greenwich Village in the 1940s and 50s. She told me about her crazy husband who threw knives, beat her, and eventually broke her back.
She taught me to cook in an iron “spider.” She taught me to sew a French seam. She pinched her doctors and swore like a sailor. She was brilliant and angry. And believe me, she was no angel. But we who are broken sometimes hold each others’ pieces together, as Christ holds us. She saw through me the moment she met me, and she knew my sins. But she loved me and called me her little monkey, and I held her as she was dying, almost exactly a year ago.
I thank God for calling all of us and loving us past our sins.