A Celebration of Deborah

Thirteen years ago today I became Deborah’s Aunt. The truth is, I was her Aunt before she ever left my sister, Berta Isabel’s, womb. My sister put up with me pressing my face against her belly and saying to Deborah, “Hi baby, I’m your Aunt Lucy.”

I was at the hospital awaiting Deborah’s birth. If my memory is correct, there was a crowd in the hallway cheering on her arrival. She is the fourth Graaff child, and the sixth of the Magnificent Nine.

Deborah has a subtle, but mischievous sense of humor. With a face free of humor, she can deliver a line that will send a crowd to the floor laughing and clutching their guts. She also has a great curiosity and delivers reverant admiration for the smallest of God’s creations: An albino snake, small balls of ice falling from the sky, sharp knives, blue nail polish, and bugs.

I like seeing the world through Deborah’s eyes. Life takes on a completely different hue when I’m near her. She has a way of enjoying people around her and bringing out the best in all of us.

Before you get the impression Deborah is soft and fluffy and covered in bows and ribbons, let me put an end to that nonsense. She has a stubborn streak the size of the Colorado river. She traded in her ballerina slippers for soccer gear a few years ago. And she’s no pushover.

At the same time, in my eyes, Deborah has the hair and skin of a princess. Her big brown eyes are luminous against the background of her carmel colored skin. She’s a beauty, a natural beauty which needs no help from makeup. It’s hard to believe that little bald-headed baby with the chubby cheeks is the same beauty.

Deborah, my sweet Deborah, you are a precious gift. I miss laughing with you. There are more miles and miles, of more miles and miles, than I would like between us. I love being your Aunt, and I look forward to watching you grow into a woman who loves God and seeks to please Him first. Happy Birthday Deborah! May this year be filled with joy and new discoveries for you. Your Aunt Lucy

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