Alice Mae, the surviving half of a set of twins, our babies of the family. Lovely, talented, compassionate and so eager to please that she disregarded her wishes to fulfill those of everyone else.

But life took an abrupt turn for her near the beginning of her sophomore year at Lee College; her world came apart and was fragmented. She was stricken with a disease that totally changed her life ; Bipolar does that to people. It uproots their lives and disrupts the lives of their family. Only God can know what she has gone through while battling Bipolar, but she is a survivor. Alice produced some beautiful paintings where she was enrolled at Cass Tech High School in Detroit while keeping up her academic schedule as well. She was proficient in different media: pen, pencil, charcoal, oil, acrylic, etc. She played the piano and sang, was wonderful with children and taught Sunday school classes.

But after the onset of her illness, she was unable to continue many of the activities that she loved. The amazing thing about her is that in spite of her many difficulties she has never lost her compassion and sensitivity toward others. She has great love and respect for her family. She never has anything bad to say about them even though some have not taken time to visit her or keep in touch. She just displays unconditional love toward them.

Love isn’t enough to cure Bipolar, but it helps get you through it. The amazing thing about Alice--through all the trauma, multiple treatments, institutions, nursing homes, hospitals and various places that she lived during those years of battling the disease, she never lost the sweet, loving personality she had; Compassion was her middle name.

I would like to share an example of her acts of compassion which happened during this past Christmas season. One of the ladies at the home where she lives spent the day on Christmas Eve going from person to person with great excitement saying. “Santa Claus is coming. Did you know Santa Claus is coming?”

Alice, not wanting her to be disappointed, took her new pink blouse, wrapped it and put the lady’s name on it. She took a sock and put fruit and candy in it, put one of her own little teddy bears, perfume and lotion in a tote she had received as a gift and placed it all under the home Christmas tree. Then she asked the lady if she had looked under the Christmas tree to see if Santa had left her anything. No, she hadn’t, but she went to the tree to see if there was anything for her. Finding the presents from 'Santa’ was very exciting to her, and she wore the blouse all day and showed off what Santa had brought her.

The next day, Alice noticed the rescue squad at the home, but sometimes they had to make runs there for people who were ill and needed transportation, so she didn’t consider it unusual. Later she realized that she had not seen the 'Santa-lady' that day. When she inquired about her, she learned that the lady had died.  It was a sad Christmas for Alice; she had lost one of her friends but was glad she was able to make her friend's last day on earth a happy one.

Alice had performed such a simple
act of kindness but one that would make the lady’s last day special.  This is a perfect portrait of Alice, the compassionate one!

A friend of our sister, Lorinda, suggested that something be written about the 'real Alice,' the one that has been overlooked sometimes due to the nature of her illness, and call it
'Alice’s Alabaster Box.' So, Alice, here is your Alabaster Box.

You have broken it many times to spread its lovely aroma to those around you. We know that it will continue to be broken with an endless flow of the Love of God that you so freely spread to those who are blessed enough to know you!

These excerpts are taken from pages published on one of my websites, Heart 2 Heart, early in 2004; Alice left us July 16, 2004.

I can’t help but wonder if she and the ‘Santa Lady’ have had a reunion!  Wonder if this Christmas Santa Lady is joining Alice, Mother, Daddy and her twin brother, Kelsey?

Alice will be missed again this Christmas, but the aroma of her broken Alabaster Box lingers still.

At her December 6, 2008, update, Kathleen published a 'short story' about Alice's experience at Christmas 2004.  You can see it here:  Herald A New Day.

Other Pages for Alice

Alice (at Heart 2 Heart)

Alice's Legacy (at Heart 2 Heart)

Remembering Alice (at Heart 2 Heart)

Alice and Kelsey (twin brother at Family Site)

Kathleen at "Herald A New Day" did this page for Alice










@ Copyright There's Good News, December 2008

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