I’m not too sure when my Angel joined the Sonzena Family, but I joined in March of 1972. I can only guess that she also joined about that time. I have photographic proof that she was around in 1974, but I can honestly say that I do not remember one Christmas my whole life without her.
A few things you need to know, Christmas used to be my favorite time of year, and until I was 15 every Christmas took place at my Grandparents’ house. They were in their fifties when I was born. Not quite their heyday, but I’ll tell you what: if this was them calmed down and more mellow, I would have loved to see them really cut loose!
Christmas Eve at their house was a party for sure. It was pretty much the same every year, family and friends, Lawrence Welk on the radio and food—lots of it. See’s candy, perogi, cabbage rolls, pickled eggs; you name it they had it, and I remember a couple of years where my sister, Heidi and I were so sick on the way home from all the Christmas treats we consumed. Along with those memories, my Angel. She’s beautiful and has a turning-base music box that plays Silent Night. I remember playing with her each Christmas.
My Grandma, where to start…..She was amazing!!!
I have so many great memories. We spent almost every Saturday night at her house, she would pick me, Heidi, and my brother, David up on Saturday afternoon, take us grocery shopping with her (so we could get our favorite sugary cereal), then back to the house for the night, and off to church on Sunday mornings. Every Valentine’s Day when we would go to leave for school there would be three boxes of See’s candy that she left on the porch on her way to work. I had my appendix out in the 8th grade, and she gave me a little bear that had a small band-aid where his appendix should be. I was a little girl that loved and appreciated shiny, beautiful jewelry, and she had plenty of it for me to admire. When I was in my early 20’s I wanted to join the Navy and I would have long conversations with her about it, and she always encouraged me to join. She served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, raised four children, survived breast cancer and was married to my Grandpa for 61 years….like I said amazing.
She started getting sick around 1997, and I’m not too sure when we lost her completely, but I do know that when my son Rob was born in March of 1998, she was still with us mentally. When Rob was nine weeks old we flew out to California for a visit. That was when she gave me my Angel, I can not even explain exactly how much it meant to me. To know that she felt the Angel belonged with me, just priceless.
Christmas morning this year will be the 6th anniversary of her death and I haven’t recovered from that loss. Just yesterday I heard a Christmas Carol on the radio and broke into tears, I just miss her so much. Friday morning I will bring out my Christmas decorations and get the house ready for the season. As in years past my angel will put on display, when I look at her and think of all the happy memories made with my Grandma and family, my angel is truly my touchstone to my past and for that I will always be thankful.