Friday, June 18, 2010

Aunt Sunny


Yesterday morning, my Aunt Sunny died.  She was living in Montana with her husband and had end stage lung disease.  For most of my childhood, she lived in New Orleans and spent a lot of time with us.  I thought I would share some of my most vivid memories:
  • When I was 14, she took me to see the Nutty Professor at the Uptown Square movie theater.  After the movie, she let me practice driving her sedan all around the parking lot (something my parents wouldn't have the stomach to do for a year or so).
  • At some point after I started wearing bras (and long before I actually needed to), she brought to my family party a racy red padded lace bra (the kind that makes a 14 year old blush).   I thought she was so cool.  It was definitely an upgrade from cotton Jockey triangles. 
  • In 6th grade, it was determined that I would need to get glasses and I was very upset about this (I also had braces at the time and it wasn't going to be a good look at 5'10" and 110lbs).  My Aunt Sunny came over and showed me that she wore glasses even though she didn't need them!  She was a law librarian and liked the way they looked - sure enough there was no prescription in the pair she had with her.  It made me feel better.  There was hope.
  • Her first husband DJ made me a little wooden bench a LONG time ago that I still have in my bedroom at home.
  • I used to do her taxes when I was in middle school.  She had a big jeweled calculator that I used.  At the time, I really liked filling out forms and all she needed was the 1040EZ - so easy a 5th grader could do it.  
  • I was always trying to earn more money - so I had little businesses to sell things to people (Christmas ornaments, lemonade and cookies, bath salts).  I had babysitting business cards (I was CPR certified by the Junior League).  However, Aunt Sunny hooked me up with a seamstress job for her friend Lenor - I made linen curtains for the back of her SUV that could velcro on and off (I had been to sewing camp).  That brought in a 3 digit lump sum and I was very appreciative for the reference. 
  • Sometimes she wore lavender color contacts.
  • She had a pink and blue heart tattoo on her ankle and had a pet iguana. 
  • She volunteered at the Angola Louisiana State Prison and played chess with the prisoners.  On a few occasions I got very sweet birthday cards from the people she worked with there. 
  • She had a really great, and very distinguishable, laugh. 
I believe that I shared many good (and bad) qualities with her.  Aunt Sunny was a lifetime learner - she was always working on some degree or another - law degree at night, masters in library science at night.  She loved to learn.  It is something I see in myself as well (I just took a week long training class - case in point).  However, we both (along with my mom) have a mild obsession with paper products and office supplies.  When she moved away - I inherited a giant basket of post-it notes which was pretty awesome (minus the Cathy comic ones).   

She breathing easy with our ancestors and I wish her a peaceful rest.  


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