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A different kind of moment

Jess, shut up!

The way we celebrate different events during this isolation time is, well, to put it bluntly, strange for us a family. We are a family much like many of you that gather together for birthdays, holidays, weddings and funerals. During this Covid-19 time we must distance, isolate and be very smart, and that in itself can make for hard-to-swallow moments as events come upon us.

My sister had to cancel her wedding. She had been planning, prepping and preparing for a long time. Like every little girl’s dream, she had a plan of what she wanted it to look like: All four brothers walking her down the aisle. One of those brothers performing the ceremony. Her mother and father in attendance with all of her friends and family from the groom’s side and the brides. The wedding is now postponed, reservations cancelled, and plans put on ice. It was the smart thing to do, but hard nonetheless. They will still get married, but it leaves a rock in your shoe to irritate for a bit of time.

There have been a few birthdays as well. A 2-year-old boy and a 20-something girl share a birthday. They have had plans to conquer the world of birthdays together for many years to come. They found a rock in their shoes as well. Both ended up having a quiet celebration with their isolation family. Happy Birthday Cairo and Nicollette. But something happened the day after.

Almost joining the birthday twins and making it a triplets celebration was a little girl. Jesse and Neshia Billups found themselves at CMC having a baby. This time there was no large group of family huddled outside the delivery room door waiting for the first little sound of a baby discovering the outside world. This time we were all huddled near our phones waiting for the information to come to us wherever we were quarantined at.

Then it came. At 4:05 p.m. a simple text from proud daddy: “Baby is here, 6lbs. 2 oz. Name to come.” The celebrations in houses around the area erupted. A few moments later, we learned the name of the newest precious jewel in the crown of the family heritage. Liberty Lee Billups joins her brother Cairo and the proud parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles in a celebration of joy.

I do not know when I will get to officiate the marriage of my sister or hold little Liberty Lee, but I know this: I will treasure the moment. I will never again take for granted a phone call and birthday party and gathering of family or the birth of a child. We have taken for granted the everyday things that we sometimes call mundane and lifted up the milestones as they appear in our lives, but in reality, we should expect each day to bring a gift to us.

The Billups/Farag/Sieker/Arnes family has a special history. I will leave the details for them to tell, but Jesse and Neshia are special individuals and have a story of their very own. There were struggles, but here come the high points. Cairo, named after a place special to the mom’s family, and now Liberty, named after a place special to the dad, both bring an unmeasurable joy to an unknown amount of people. I know one special little girl who can’t wait to see her cousin. Ali is eagerly awaiting.

So, no matter your circumstances right now, know that there is a pot of gold waiting for you once the storm passes. And this storm shall pass. That gold may look different to us all. A bride walking down an aisle. A little boy blowing out candles on a cake. A new job, a new pet or a new perspective. It may even come in the form of a little bundle of precious flesh that has the brightest eyes you’re ever going to see. Welcome to the family, Liberty. We love you already.


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