This weekend I went to Columbus, GA to spend time with my dear sister Christy and her family before she has baby #2 in exactly two weeks. She amazes me with her ability to keep up with a two-year-old while being 9 months pregnant….makes me think about how my mom did it with four children. I wonder if by the time Rachel and David came along, Christy and I were old enough to help a little? But still, four kids is a lot to take on. Then I begin to imagine having seven boys like my grandmother West did, whose 94th birthday is this week. That woman needs to be made a saint, and stat. Hearing about Birmingham when she was younger sounds like a whole different world. She talks about riding horses up and down Lakeshore Drive when it was a dirt road, and about how her first house with my grandfather was appraised for $75 in scrap lumber when they first bought it (which is the second oldest in Mt. Brook). She loves to say that the only time she went against her own father’s advice was to keep the house instead of tearing it down. Instead, they just added compartments on to it as their family grew. It still stands to this day, but probably not for much longer. It will be sad to see a part of our family history go away. Maybe a piece of it can be saved somehow by the next owners of the property.
I got the honor of being present when Anna Banana was born just a little over two years ago. I’d never witnessed a birth before, except for on the TLC channel. It was so surreal…. Christy was such a trooper, and the doctor was so calm. Anna came out very peaceful, eyes wide and taking it all in. It happened much quicker than I thought it would, and without any real drama. It was such a beautiful thing to be able to witness, an experience that I will never forget.
Speaking of beautiful moments, this weekend is the wedding of my dear friends Charles and Carrie Beth. I’ve known Charles for many, many years…we met back when I did my short film Piece of Cake in 2006, and he wrote a semi-review about it on his blog. We discovered that we had several mutual good friends, and the rest is history. Charles and Carrie Beth officially started seeing each other a few Artwalks back, and I think it is fair to say that they hit the ground running almost immediately. They have an amazing connection that is immediately apparent to anyone who lays eyes on them. Since then, I have spent many dinners with the two of them talking about life, hopes and dreams. A few months back they asked me to do a few readings at their ceremony, and I gladly accepted. If I can manage to hold back the tears, I know I will do a good job for them. Cheers to you both!
Yesterday evening while doing a short Sunday run, I ran up my last hill to the top of Cliff Road which overlooks the city. The sun was setting behind Birmingham, and there was a beautiful light surrounding the city. I stopped for a moment to absorb the beauty and take it all in. That’s when I began to imagine loved ones gone in the light itself, and felt a strange comfort. Birmingham looked so small in comparison to the sky surrounding it, this beautiful wash of bright colors constantly changing as the sun was setting. I thought about all of the people underneath the sky, and all of those who were now in it. I wonder what they know that we don’t….and if they can hear our thoughts and questions. It was an amazing sight to see and made me think about what might happen to our spirits when we leave this earth.
It is fair to say that a lot of meaningful life moments are coming up in the next few weeks, and I am completely and utterly grateful for each one of them. Thank you to whoever is looking out for me in the sky.