My aunt was mentally ill, and in thinking about her life I find hope in God's mercy. I believe her mental illness was possibly severe enough to render her incapable of making a decision for Christ. I don't know what was in her heart and mind in the days before her death or even in the last hours when she was not conscious. I know God could have reached out to her even then. I don't know why God didn't heal her mind and make her whole, but I do believe that he is more merciful than we can ever comprehend, and that he must have extended that mercy to my aunt. I don't think I would be at such peace otherwise. Even so, I won't know for sure the outcome of it all until I pass from this earth. Today we only see in part, but one day we will see clearly. One thing I know for sure is that God's grace and mercy have been extended to me, and I am fully capable and willing to receive them. As one of my favorite scriptures and hymns says, "I know whom I have believed in and know that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
It seems that my aunt's death would have in some way "spoiled" Valentine's Day, but in reality that hope I mentioned earlier seemed to make it all fit for me. My husband seems to do everything well, and on Valentine's Day he didn't disappoint. He bought 2 dozen Carnations, baby's breath and the works ,and he created 3 flower arrangements and displayed them in different places throughout the house. The flowers that are still blooming fresh today in my home remind me of this wonderful love I have with my husband, and they remind me of all the good and perfect gifts that God gives us in those moments when loss could otherwise overtake us.