The first time I ever felt what it was like to have a Big Sister…
“My sister Sonja is going to come over, she wants to meet you,” Mike says.
“Great! Is this going to be 20 questions and hard looks like your other sisters?” I asked.
When she came over and we started talking the connection was instant.
She said, “I feel like I’ve known you forever, you’re my soul sister.” And she was.
We talked for hours and hours. Sonja was always there to listen to me, and I listened to her.
When I fought with Mike I would run over to her house so I could vent to someone who knew him even better than I did.
She would warm up some food grab a drink and we would settle down to talk. I never knew before what it was like to have a big sister.
We did not always see eye to eye over the years. There were times we weren’t close.
Yet even in the middle of those times, there would be a text.
“Miss you guys, I love you.”
“We love you too.”
Regrets… It’s a powerful and painful emotion. What I wouldn’t give to have some of that time back to argue and talk for hours.
When it was time to throw my first ‘kid’ party for Michaela, she helped my clueless self. All of Mike’s sisters helped.
My idea, at the time, of a kid party with my friends in Berkeley, involved carne asada, a bag of charcoal, some cebollas and tortillas, a case of beer, and a cake. I had to learn.
Sonja was a truly fierce Warrior Mama.
Nothing and NO ONE came before her daughters.
We talked for hours about being a mom. Protecting and loving her babies was the single most important thing to her.
To Michaela, her Tia Sonja, also her Nina, was her confidant. They were very close. They spent hours together, hanging out. They had secret smiles for each other every time they were together. Michaela says they would talk about her life, her dad, and her friends while they played Uno and Family Feud.
To Mike, his Sissy was his best friend. One of the few people on earth Mike listened too. She was always telling him to behave better. She was very protective of him.
Sonja was always smiling her beautiful glowing smile. Cracking me up with the things she’d say.
She used to call me Betty Crocker because I always wore skirts. She said it reminded her of her mother, who told Sonja to never leave the house without earrings and lipstick.
I got dressed in earrings, a skirt and lipstick to go to Safeway the other day, in her memory.
She was the only grown woman that ever called me classy.
When we talked for the last time, before Easter, she told me how much she loved me. I told her I loved her.
She said that she knew, the first time we met that Mike had “met his match” and that she was so glad I was there to take care of Mike and Michaela.
I didn’t know it was goodbye. God took her home way too soon.
I love you Sonja De La O. Thank you for being my big sister.