I visited with my Mom today, which had not happened in a while. It’s not that she lives so far away, in fact I drive by her place on the way home from work every day. The weather has been too cold, the roads too icy, I was too tired, etc. I had my usual list of excuses going to not stop by Mom & Dad’s but today Mom needed help with sending an email, so I stopped over after work this morning and helped her out while she gave me coffee to warm up and we got caught up on all the usual things and the latest news.

Welcome to the world, Annabel Christina!

Welcome to the world, Annabel Christina!

The most recent news was my brother Andrew and his wife, Lisa, welcomed their daughter, Annabel Christina Ruiz-Crawford into the world on Saturday, March 8, 2014. It was a roller coaster weekend, emotionally, and I think it was fitting Annabel arrived with the changing of the clocks just in time for us to “Spring Forward.”

The best part was she arrived with all of her fingers and toes, and decent head of hair, and when I heard her cry over the phone, my heart broke open. My brother called me later that night and informed me that she has him wrapped around her little finger and the moment that happened was when she grabbed his finger and squeezed really hard. His heart exploded and he realized, like I did the first moments I held my son for the first time, that I would walk through hell and back to protect this beautiful little being heaven sent down.

I remember those first days as new parent quite well. I can say, I sometimes hope I did the right things. I mean, Alex turned out ok, but you are never sure. You feel such overwhelming love and at the same time, you are scared shitless, worried you will mess this child up for life and pray you can find them a good therapist if the time comes. He asked me if I had any advice for him. I gave my brother the same advice I received from my Aunt Treva when my son was born.

You are going to get a hundred different opinions from everyone on how to raise your child, but in the end, the only thing that matters is you know your child better than anyone. If you don’t feel right doing something, don’t do it. If it feels right, try it out. If it doesn’t work out, try something else. Remember, in the end, it’s your child and you are the one raising it, nobody else.”

When I got home later today, I was on Facebook, and the first post I saw was from my cousin Casey. Her Dad passed away last night. I knew he wasn’t well for a very long time. Since my Aunt Colleen passed away a few years ago, he seemed to be on a decline, health wise. I then realized, with one life given another was sent back to Heaven.

The circle of life.

Art Alexander was a wonderful man. He loved his children and his grandchildren and I was so happy he was able to hold his most recent granddaughter, born just a few months ago. I know he and Keener (my aunt’s nickname) are together again and watching down on their children and grandchildren.

Art Alexander holding Jocelyn Colleen.

Art Alexander holding Jocelyn Colleen.

And while I am a busy person, I need to spend more quality time with my family. Life happens while you make other plans, as John Lennon sang, and we never really know how much time we have.

Hug your family. Tell them you love them. Even if they make faces at you.




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