a gift

Mother Antonia: Interviewed M. Antonia’s niece. I felt presumptuous calling on her; but she was quite forthright and willing to talk about her aunt. When I asked her what she would like people to remember about M. Antonia, she told me about the time she (the niece) was baptismal sponsor for a friend who was converting to Catholicism. Just as they were getting ready to go into the church, a car pulled up, and out came M. Antonia, despite having recently suffered a stroke. “I wouldn’t miss this,” she said. “Today, she is without sin.” Formidable as she was, she was also the kind of aunt who showed up for her niece’s important occasions, and there is something very dear about that.

I also (I think) got a little taste of what may be a family aptitude for managing time, in that when she was done talking to me, M. Antonia’s niece said, “I think that’s all I have.” Polite but clear and firm: dismissed.

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