“My mother was an alcoholic. She married my father when she was 16. By the time she was 21, she had given birth to three children. When my father left to serve in WWII, my mother had a nervous breakdown. I was probably two at the time. Our neighbors who lived across the street found a doctor to care for my mother. They had six children of their own, but while my mother recovered, they loved and cared for me. They bathed me in the kitchen sink and fed me peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
“I remember going to their family reunion when I was around five. There were lots of meringue pies there. I ate the meringue off all the pies. Nobody fussed at me. That was my first experience with grace.”