This is the first in a series about my great aunt, who has led a fantastic life. I’ve named the character I’m basing on her Violetta; every piece will be categorized as Violetta’s Story.
Violetta climbed up the risers, the familiar feelings distorted by new nerves. They were actually here! Eight people, a family, were sharing the stage with her college’s choir. It was perhaps the most famous family singing group of all time- the Von Trapp Family Singers! Captain Von Trapp had died a few years previously, but his wife was here with their seven children. Violetta wished she could limb up her voice again- her throat had gone unexpectedly dry to see them so close, but she was in her choir robe, ascending the risers, and vocal exercises would seem childish now. Thank goodness she hadn’t gotten the solo for today! Violetta didn’t think she would have been able to go through with it.
The Von Trapps began, and the golden sound that poured out outshined the brilliant gold of their hair. How can we ever hope to come close to this? The raw emotions in their voices was inspiring and reflective, and as their piece ended Violetta found herself unexpectedly moved. Her choir director stood and motioned them into position. Violetta wished she could see her sister Agnes among the robes of the choir members; their voices were not similar, and thus Agnes was far on the other side of their arrangement. She imagined the look her sister would give her, and the dry sarcasm even an imagining of Agnes’s eyebrows provided was so vivid it shocked her out of her stupor. She was intelligent, diligent, and reasonably talented. It was alright to admire others, but never to be intimidated. She opened her mouth and sang when the director indicated, confidence restored. But as she sang, Violetta looked at the Von Trapps, at their happiness, and wondered what she was missing.