Sad Inspirational Creative Nonfiction

November 21, 2020. That was the day that my great aunt died. I used to resent her for being so bossy and judgemental. But she taught me a lot of things.

When I was younger, I practically lived at my grandparent's home. It used to be one house, but they separated the other living room, kitchen, and bedroom for my great aunt.

I can vividly remember every lunch when she would come out from the back door and then into my grandparent's part of the house. She would sit down and probably make some sort of witty remark about the food, or about everyone's eyebrows. When I was little, I thought that she was acting really rude. But the older I got, the more I started to understand her personality. And the older I got, I realized how much I could have learned from her while I still had the chance to.

Caci didn't get married. Which at first sounds a bit sad, but I like to think that it was because she was so independent. She never let someone talk over her, and she always had an opinion on everything.

We had a routine, me and her. Every day, I would go out in the backyard before lunch to talk to her. She was always waiting for me at the table with a cigarette in her mouth and a crossword puzzle in her hand. Growing up I usually never understood her. And I don't think that she understood me either. She was a lot different than me in ways that I didn't understand yet. For one, she didn't care what others thought of her. And that's basically all I ever did. She also knew her worth. If she didn't like the way that someone was treating her, she would call them out and then cut them off. I always thought that she was far too bold, but now I wish that I was a little bit more like her in that way. Maybe I would have been better at handling the situation now if I was more like her.

A thing that I should mention about my great aunt, is that she loved to knit. I like to think that this is the most she had in common with every other old woman. Apart from knitting, she was one of a kind. She knit me sweaters, but I grew out of all of them.

The last thing that Caci knit for me, was this blue shirt. She made it in the summer of 2019. I wore it a few times, but not too much since you can kind of see through it. So when my family and I came back to visit, she told me to give it back to her since it was a bit see-through.

"I can make you a new one that is much better." She told me.

I told her I loved it just the way it was and that I wanted to keep it, but for some reason, she insisted. I ended up never giving it to her because I forgot to bring it back the next time we visited them. That shirt is sitting in my closet right now, and I am honestly so glad that it is here with me.

Caci also told me the most amazing and dramatic stories. Sometimes she would make them up but other times they were from her life. She told me about how she dealt with world war two. About how there was a bomb and she had to hide but her mom wasn't with her. And she told me that she didn't want to hide without her mom. She told me about everything.

That was when I slowly started to adopt a sense of appreciation for her.

Something that I did notice over the years, is how she slowly started to change. I wish I could say that she never lost her charm, but at times she did. At times, she was tired. And I could feel it.

It didn't just show in her attitude, but it showed in different situations. There were now usually only four spots at the table, instead of five. And the chairs in the backyard were usually empty.

This was happening when my family and I had moved. When she started to see less and less of my brother and me. She cared about my brother. But what I see now is that she always had a special spot in her heart just for me. And I should have noticed that before it was too late.

The last time that I talked with Caci, was on my birthday. November 16, 2020. By then, she wasn't feeling so good. My dad told me that she was feeling a bit under the weather. And I didn't think too much of it. Why would I? She was just about the strongest woman I had ever met.

"Happy birthday Nina," She told me through the phone. She also noticed that my hair was in a high ponytail. Which of course pissed her off a little bit.

"Hey if you keep wearing your hair like that, your head will look like the back of my ass." Some people might get offended if someone told them that. But I had never been so happy to hear someone say that my head looks like an ass before. And that was enough for me.

It was 9:30 in the morning when my brother came into my room. He didn't look too happy. I had never lost someone before, let alone someone this close to me. I didn't know what to say. So I said nothing. Because at first, I thought that he was lying. But then I opened my door, and I heard the sound of my dad crying. The sound was deafening. My hand froze on the knob, and I could feel the tears dripping down my cheeks. I quietly closed the door and then cried into my pillow.

I know that my great aunt probably wouldn't like that I made this into a sob story. She probably wouldn't like that I was writing this at all. But I am glad that I have a sense of appreciation for her now, even though I used to think I never would because of how different we were.

The blue shirt has a different meaning now, and so does wearing it. But when I do, I will feel happy knowing that the woman who made it was one of the bravest women I knew.

November 21, 2020 13:37

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Lilly Spaziani
20:31 Nov 28, 2020

Nina, i seriously cried after reading this. it is a beautiful story and i love how personal it was. really wow. you amazed me good job :)


Nina C.
08:01 Nov 29, 2020



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Llind Kam
17:29 Nov 28, 2020

The story felt very personal. It was a lovely read. I would describe it as strangely comforting.


Nina C.
20:13 Nov 28, 2020

thank you so much!! i really appreciate it :)


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