Linda Krystal

Today is my niece's birthday.  She is turning 23 and it seems like yesterday she was 2.  I am a little emotional today, because my mother left after an extended visit yesterday, so today is my first official day on my own with my baby and my husband without mom.  And, to top it off, my baby girl is a month old.  A month!  I think about Linda being 23 and it makes me want to cry that before I know it, my little Sofia will be 23 too.  They grow up so fast! I know it's cliché -  but it is also true.

Linda holds a special place in our family because she was first for all of us.  She was my parents' first grandchild.  My older brother's first (and only) child.  For my other brother and myself she was the first niece.  She was the princess.  And we were all in love with her; really we still are.

As usual, I can only speak for myself, so here it goes.

Linda was the first newborn I ever held.  She was 3 days old when I held her for the first time, and somewhere there is a God-awful picture of this.  I am wearing the ugly glasses and I have a very scared look on my face. I was 14 at the time, and was very close to Sonia, Linda's mother.  I really really wanted a sister when I was little, as most girls do - especially when you have two older brothers.  Sonia was as close as I got.  She helped me get ready for school dances, we talked about boys I liked, and she even tweezed my eye brows the first time. I was maid of honor at the wedding.

When Baby Linda was born, I remember my brother saying "She looks just like Lisa" referring to his memory of when I was born.  I was stoked!  She was my niece, my little sister, my baby doll, all in one.  I have always felt very protective of her.  Last year she told a friend of mine during my wedding weekend that our relationship had always been more like mother-daughter than aunt-niece.  When you consider she has a good mother, two good grandmothers and other aunts, that is pretty amusing.

Linda and I at my condo in Athens

I guess I have always been the aunt to give advice (wanted and unwanted), and I have always given her a bit of hard time because I want her to aim high, higher, highest.  I only do it because I think she can be anything, do anything, have anything she wants.  I really do.  I often think  I see her as so much more than she sees herself.  And I think she might get that from me.

When I was 22-23 I had no idea who I was.  I think she frequently sees me as who I have been in my 30s, because that is her experience and memory of me.  We hardly saw each other when I was in my 20s, I was too busy jumping around the world, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted.  I always had a bit of a goddez complex.  I knew I was attractive.  I knew I was smart.  But I didn't really know what a goddez I truly could be.  I thought things came to you and you just did the best you could with them.  I never really believed the world was mine, or that I could change my reality into whatever I wanted it to be.  It took 10 addresses, 15 jobs, and a starter marriage for me to come to see that I truly was "the master of my fate, the captain of my soul".  Youth is definitely wasted on the young. I guess I wish I had someone like the older version of myself to guide me through the rough patches.

I want her to have all my wisdom and power that I have at 37 at the age of 23.  I want her to hear me out, and learn through my mistakes so she doesn't repeat them.  I want her to be Lisa 2.0.  Problem is, one has too much fun making mistakes and most of us have to learn through our own experience.  Most of all, I want to spare her the pain, I want to spare her the disappointments that come when life does not go the way we planned.  I wish I could use a Harry Potter wand and make it all better for her, but I know I can't.

When I was in college there were certain CDs that seem to live in my cd player.  This was the 90s, so we listened to cds, no such thing as ipods.  "Nevermind" by Nirvana, "Cooleyhighharmony" by Boys to Men, "Al final de este viaje" by Silvio Rodriguez, and "Our time in Eden" by 10,000 Maniacs to name a few.  There was this song on the 10,000 Maniacs album called "My how you've grown" that Natalie Merchant wrote for her niece.  Everytime I heard it I thought of Linda and  I cried.  I still do.  We hardly saw each other from the time she was 6 till she was like 15 or 16.  Eventually, I had two more nieces, who I love dearly.  But they were born when I was in my 20s and more of an adult.  It is just different.  Linda was my baby.  I baby sat her, I helped potty train her.  For the first two years of her life we were very close, so as she grew up in a different place and I missed out on it, it saddened me.  She was a little piece of me that was not there anymore, and every time I saw her she was a little more grown up.  My eyes tear up when I think about it.

Linda: You will always be my first baby girl and I will forever love you as such.  I see my own daughter now, and I remember what you were like as a baby, dancing to Michael Jackson and crying every time you left our house.  All I can say is, I hope at least one young woman out there loves my Sofia the way I have loved you. This is my song to you, I wish I had written it myself.

Here's a link to the song, I hope it works:

and here are the lyrics:

On my wedding day.


  1. so thanks for making me cry lol. Thank you so much titi, i feel so very very mucho loved :-P I also wanted to make sure you knew that i appreciate everything so much and love u lots <3

  2. Me hiciestes llorar, Lisa. Las sobrinas son una bendicion de Dios para uno y para la familia. Somos una familia de muchas mujeres bellas, independientes y amorosas, eso no cambia con el tiempo. Me encanto lo que escribistes y yo tambien espero que mi Sarah tenga una joven que la ame mucho como yo amo a mi sibrina. Tu hija esta preciosa y tiene una mama extrahordinaria. Cuidense mucho y que Dios los bendiga. Se les quiere mucho, Joany

  3. @ Linda - just doing my job
    @ Joany - asi es. Dicen que al que dios no le da hijos el diablo le da sobrinos...mis sobrinos no vienen del diablo! Son una bendicion. XOX

  4. Oh my God iam a mess, my daugther is so blessed and i knew it from the moment i put her in ur arms that u where going to be the best aunt and the bestest friend our child could ve. thanku for being there for her everystep of the way for giving her an uncondicional love but most of all she was taught love, attention, and comunication and that the material things are not the ones that will fullfill u. everyone one was right about her looking like u but i must say also smart,independent,strong will and beautiful just like auntie lisa. thanku for always being there and still for her today she is very blessed. i love u and thanku again for being who u re

  5. Como he llorado pensando en mi sobrina/ahijada. Se como te sientes, pero nunca lo habria podido expresar mejor, una vez mas, gracias por compartir.


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