Christmas Cards for Nonnie

I’ve been receiving Christmas cards addressed to Nonnie.  Some are from out-of-town friends who were not contacted in July.  I have been sending return Christmas cards from me, informing them of what has happened this year.  That has been difficult because I’m never sure how to start the message.  How do you tell someone who obviously loved Nonnie that she isn’t here anymore and we didn’t contact them back in July. 

Dear Someone Who Loved Nonnie, 

Please don’t send any more Christmas cards to Nonnie.  It makes me cry when I read them. 

Her daughter Kay

No, that won’t work.  Maybe I should make a copy of the obit and just include it in the envelope?  No, that’s not good either; too impersonal.  Some of the people I know from years past and some, by name only.  Some are barge buddies who didn’t get the word.  Some are from businesses who were never informed, such as her dentist.  This was starting not to be a fun holiday for me.  Then I got a call one evening and it was a voice out of the past. 

When I was a kid, my parents’ best friends were Niecie and Whiz and they had 2 daughters, Debbie and Terry.  All three of us girls were exactly 2 years apart in age and we were the best of friends.  Through the years, the family moved to East Texas, the girls grew up and had their own lives, I think the parents divorced and Nonnie kept up with Niecie, who remarried.  I didn’t know her married name and returned her Christmas card with a bunch of others.  She looked me up on the Internet and called.

She lost her husband in September to cancer and I’m sure this Christmas is very difficult on her also.  Just talking to her was like going back 45 years in my mind.  Niecie was the one who picked gravel out of my knees when I had an accident with my bicycle behind the old Meadows Grocery; I still have those scars.  She was the one who came out behind my grandmother’s house and killed the snake that had me petrified; I still can’t stand being near snakes!  I remember Niecie in our kitchen as much as I remember Nonnie.  I remember nights when the 3 of us girls fell asleep while the adults enjoyed themselves in the den with a bridge game. 

Debbie, Terry and Kay Sleeping - 1963

Niecie was the one who taught our dachshund Tinker Belle to sit up and beg.  Nonnie, my grandmother Georgia Belle and I went to Debbie’s wedding in East Texas. 

Nonnie and Niecie, Terry and Debbie - 1965

So many memories came flooding back.  I miss those days.  I miss Niecie and the girls.  And it’s times like these that I miss Nonnie the most.

Kay and Tinker Belle, Terry and Debbie - 1965


4 responses to “Christmas Cards for Nonnie

  1. I am so sorry for your pain but it is nice to relive all the good memories. I understand what you are going thru, as I lost my mom in May.

  2. Kay, I know the pain. But please find comfort in knowing that Nonnie is, and will always be, there through the wonderful memories she left you. It is still to soon – because when you think of her you miss her and it is painful. Sometime down the road when you think of her and the memories you and Nonie made – you will still miss her -but it will not hurt so much – you may even smile. When we were talking of your Dad last Saturday – you smiled. Time helps heal – so it is ok to take the time. Love you girl.

  3. Thank you so much, Sandy. One of my two best friends lost her mother also this year. Here’s to our mothers and to a happier 2011!

  4. I love you too, Jen! I smile now but I smile with tears in my eyes. She was such a huge influence on my life, even more so than Daddy. She taught me how to be my own person but it seems to have taken her death to bring it totally to the surface. I’m grateful on so many levels for her and for her love.