Lovely Love / by Kamie Chang Kahlo

 
Graphic Illustration by Kimchee Girl.

Lovely Love was a product of a Christian hippie love cult from the 60’s. Her face was a valentine. She had large, glossy, wide set grey-blue eyes that followed the gentle curve of her face. Her upturned nose was small and straight and a set of round pink lips permanently pushed themselves into a kiss. Framing this heart-shaped canvas was a thick set of long bangs that tickled the rims of her wild lashes; the remainder of her baby fine cinnamon hair hugged the sides of her face and grew past her shoulder bones. Nature had kissed this child’s face but it was her upbringing that made her live up to her name.

Tiny white flowers filled the green hillside at the commune and one by one she plucked them and tied them into a daisy chain to wear around her dainty wrist. Next to her was a book, “Flowers of the Holy Land” She clung to it like it was the bible. She could smell the wild flora as she turned page after page; Sketches from the Mother Theresa of Jerusalem, American born Bertha Spafford Vester was her role model of kindness and giving.

Seven years after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 destroyed her father’s business, library and investment real estate, Bertha traveled across the Atlantic with her mother and 3 sisters. On the trip to France her sisters died when the ship sunk after a collision. Later her new baby brother died of scarlet fever. But sorrow so profound can bring kindness and light. The Spafford family began the American Colony in the Holy Land doing welfare work and caring for visitors. Bertha took over these duties and became a trusted diplomat for foreign visitors, opened several hospitals during the war. She said, "… we had offered to nurse neither friends nor foes, just humanity." Then in the 20’s Bertha founded the Anna Spafford Memorial Children's Hospital caring for thousands of sick babies from Jerusalem and its surroundings.

And like Vester, Lovely was planning on traveling abroad and opening a hospital for babies. Mornings at the commune, days at school studying medicine, late afternoons commuting to the nearest hospital, she spent her evenings in the children’s ward nursing small babies with asthma. She was ready to leave the group that raised her although they were having great difficulty letting her go, especially Brotherhood. At 19 he was her boyfriend of 10 years. But in the last few years they grew apart. Her schedule and dedication to endeavors outside of the kinship opened her eyes to a bigger world. The community was disbanding because of trouble with unpaid taxes and real estate after 38 years. Lovely leaving her boyfriend and the village was seemingly the end of everything good for everyone else. For Lovely it was the beginning of her aspirations and the introduction of an enchanting young woman to the rest of the world.