Christmas wasn’t the same without Aunt Sonya
This Christmas was a difficult one for me this year with the passing of my Aunt Sonya.
She died early Thursday morning, only a few days before Christmas Day.
The festivities carried on but with an empty seat and an empty feeling inside as my family struggled to pick up the pieces.
There were a few moments when I had to take a minute to myself, but I guess all you can do is move forward.
The past week has been filled with “she’s in a better place” or “at least she is no longer suffering.” I agree with all these statements, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was being selfish by wanting her here instead.
My Aunt Sonya was a spitfire, there is no doubt about that. She had a quick wit and an even sharper tongue. It was her spunk that got her in trouble a lot of times. But no one can say that they didn’t know where she stood on things.
She appeared rough to many, and I can honestly say that she was a tough cookie. But she was my aunt, and I loved her dearly.
She was my aunt who would take my afternoon nap with me. She would tell me ghost stories with creepy sound effects.
She would let me dive into the kid swimming pool before supper even though my grandmother told me not to do it. In the end, we would both get in trouble.
She would let me stay up late and watch television with her when I was supposed to be in bed.
She would sing Elvis songs with me in the car on our way to the supermarket.
She would braid my hair or fix it up in some 1960s hairstyle. She would put green eye shadow on me and touch me up with pink lipstick.
She tossed me the keys to my uncle’s truck and told me to take off in a nearby pasture when I was learning how to drive. I would cry in her lap an hour later when she discovered I ran over my own dog in the process.
She and I would ride down dark gravel roads in the summer time. She would pretend the car broke down as she tried to scare me with some pretty original stories.
She wrecked her car on the day I was born. When a historic ice storm hit the Natchez area in 1982, she hit an expensive BMW trying to skid into the hospital where I was being delivered. She left the car in the middle of the road and wobbled up the icy emergency ramp to be with my mother.
She would rescue me when I needed help. And she defended me when no one else would.
She loved me like her own daughter.
And despite our disagreements over the years, I loved her very much.
I have spent the last few days calling my uncle on the telephone to check on him. Sometimes, I find myself wishing she would answer instead.
I am trying to get back in my regular groove of things, but it’s hard to do knowing that my Aunt Sonya isn’t around anymore.
All I can do is hold it in and force a patient smile.
Eventually, it will begin to come more naturally.