I wrapped my coat around me as the temperature hit 41 degrees as I opened my front door and braved the morning to see my new little niece, Victoria.
This was the day when she would be presented to the church and given a name and blessing in the tradition of her family.
The church’s doors were opened and three generations of her family on both her mother and father’s side stood in the foyer. I stood with them to see this baby, who had had a hard start in life.
On the day of her birth, Victoria and her mother were rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section. Victoria’s pulse had stopped. For five heart-wrenching minutes she didn’t breath in the doctor’s arms. As my brother told it on Christmas Eve, his heart sunk to his stomach because he thought that they had lost this little girl.
She cried and his heart began beating again.
Then it was months of feeding her and keeping her safe because she was too small to survive in this whirling cocktail of disease. I understood why her parent’s kept this little one sequestered until she was old enough and strong enough to survive this world.
Her family descended on the church, filling three long wooden pews. They doubled the attendance in that small church. We watched her being blessed. This little girl had tons of family to support her as she grew into womanhood.
Later I held her and smelled baby and sour milk. Her skin was soft and pink. I cuddled her.
Then she opened her eyes and I saw a hint of blue.