Next to parents, siblings are people that you can be completely yourself with. Growing up with them, you get to know their quirks and what really pushes their buttons. You can happily remind them of dumb things they did in their past, even if they don’t enjoy hearing about it (but they’ll happily pay you back later).
But when a sibling introduces their girl or boyfriend to the family, it is time for some heavy scrutinizing. For my sister-in-law, her first introduction to our family also included a dark basement full of extended family and friends sitting around in a circle waiting to surprise my brother for his 30th birthday. Looking back, I give her kudos for staying and sitting there the entire evening beside my brother, knowing that everyone there was checking her out. I would have got back on the 401 to Ottawa before the first gift was opened.
My brother, as far as I know, was not a big dater. He had a ton of friends and was very liked, but must have decided to wait for someone really special to share a romantic relationship with. So, when Sonya was introduced to our family, you can only imagine how exciting it was for all of us. And I’m glad he waited, because he sure did find someone special.
My memories of getting to know Sonya are golden. She lived on her own in this beautiful old house in Ottawa, within walking distance from my brother’s apartment. She had a quaint patio surrounded with flowers and inside she had potted herbs on her kitchen window sill. One night she cooked dinner for us while playing Ella Fitzgerald loud on the stereo. It was my first introduction to jazz music and I’ve been hooked ever since. It was also my first introduction to hearing such soulful music over dinner. Ever since, I always play music while cooking or eating and when I play Ella, I always think of Sonya and that magical evening in her apartment.
I admire Sonya’s strong independence, determination, and dedication but also her heart that is filled with love. She wasn’t shy to hold my brother’s hand in front of us, and her love is endless for her three boys. Motherhood came easy for Sonya – she was a natural with babies, never passing an opportunity to hold one, even if it was crying. I also appreciate Sonya’s honesty. She’ll ask you the tough questions and give advice you may not necessarily want to hear at the time, but be grateful later that she did.
Not having a sister or brother of her own to help her deal with the challenges of getting to know someone else’s family, is also another admirable trait of Sonya. I’m sure we were tough to take at times, and I’m glad she kept coming back. She truly is a part of our family now, and can no longer say she doesn’t have a sibling of her own as there are two of us sisters who care and love her.
Tomorrow is her birthday, and I am grateful to be able to celebrate her special day with her. Tonight Hubby is going to make her a meal.
And I’m putting Ella on the stereo.
6 thoughts on “One Jazzy Lady”
Happy Birthday Sonya!! We have shared lots of fun times together, camping in the earlier years, and now cheering in the rinks! And we can’t forget all of the interesting conversations over a game of cards.
We love you!! Gail, Michael & Josh
Thanks Heather. What a beautiful write up – you can make someone so borring seem so interesting. LOL! I am so blessed to now have two sisters. Can’t wait to see you tonight! Love ya S.
Thanks for the bday wishes Gail. It was great cheering at the rink with you last weekend and playing cards with you is always a treat! 😉 Love ya. S.
Heather so well put, Sonya we would like to wish you a very Happy Birthday as well, so nice getting to know you and occasionally getting together.
Yes I am truly lucky to find Sonya, my soul mate! She is simply amazing person and so loving. I give her full credit for nurturing she has given our boys and helped me at times to just relax and roll with it when the boys get in trouble.
As a testament to Sonya’s influence on our boys, Sidney was the latest recipient of the Elgin Fraser Award. Elgin was a terminally ill child who touched Mike Fisher’s heart (Mike is a former Ottawa Sens hockey player) and in tribute setup this award for a charity summer hockey camp our boys attend. The award is not for the best player but for the most rounded person who reaches out to others, encourages and is generally a positive person. Cedrik won this the year before. There is only one player who gets this award (over 100 kids attend)!
Sonya, I am so glad you are in all our lives and I wish you the best on your birthday as you give of yourself yet again to drive Cedrik to a hockey tournament on your birthday!
I love you… xoxo
aww… you are a sweety Carl. Off to Toronto I go! Love ya.
Wow! So much love in the air…how wonderful.