Actually, it’s more like 2,852,179 minutes, or 5.5 years. So much has happened — some hard things, all good. One of the best things was who showed up for the holidays this year.
Last time I was here, I’d just begun grad school, with a side of shingles because, why not? For the next few years, parent care required a different kind of focus and time commitment, which we have been grateful to give. Sadly, we were reminded this year our parents can’t be with us forever.
Also since last post, I am so blessed to have graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic. I wore my cap and tassel and graduated virtually from Gonzaga University with a master’s in Communication and Organizational Leadership.
This pursuit changed my life, starting with a career change six weeks before the work world went fully remote.
Even better: My mentee landed at one of the top schools in the U.S. and is midway through her junior year. Can you believe it? She still inspires me to be better and makes me proud. I can’t wait to witness her huge contributions to the lives of others.
Which brings us here, now
Sometimes life requires all of us, and time just isn’t available to do the things we love. The pandemic certainly compounded this reality. For me, that meant more work, less friends, less tennis, less meeting with my ‘dead people’ — the ones who really ground me and remind me who I am.
All that changed at Christmas, when I was able to renew my Ancestry subscription. Yippee! I even had a few days of vacation time left to jump-start my research.
Braulio …. It’s always Braulio
For 30 years, my paternal grandfather Braulio Cabello has eluded me. For nearly as many years, I’ve known who his kids were, who his parents and grandparents were — heck, even his great-grandparents.
And I had the documentation for all of them: marriage records, birth records, death records, including Braulio’s death certificate, which cites his date of birth in March 1858 — too close to his siblings’ birth dates to be correct.
So…we’d known for years he had lived, married, had children, died — just no proof our Braulio had actually been born. What if he belonged to another family?
It feels like the first time
A couple of days after opening Ancestry, I decided to play with it. Taking a deep breath, I decided to go in.
Before that, I’d been seconds from asking for a little help from the fine folks at “Finding Your Roots.”
This time, I started with a Hail, Mary: I searched all of Mexico for any Braulio born within five years of 1858. Forget that I had much more accurate info than that. Start with almost nothing and see what comes up.
And that’s when baby José Braulio looked up at me.
He was being baptized by a priest in the pueblito of Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, in northeastern Mexico. He was only three days old, born 25 March 1860.
His civil record is next, but here’s proof he was born:
Baptism record for José Braulio Cavello, from the parish San Nicolas in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico. Legitimate son of Mariano Cabello and Abrocia de Leza, witnesses Juan and Rafaela Guzmán.
Finally. I was elated, shocked — all the emotions. But I knew one thing: He was mine. I was his. I am his, and I am reminded yet again never to give up.
‘Buelito Braulio, welcome home.