I spent the Thanksgiving weekend with my family in Columbus, Mississippi. My to Memphis on the MD-80 was comfortable, while my return to Dallasleft some things to be desired. I did not do a review of the location, Plymouth Bluff. My brother, Jeremiah, wanted to do a reflection (he publishes them every Sunday) over the weekend. I will share it below:
Sunday’s Reflection: “Can’t Wait Til Next Year”
As I took my “Walk With God”, I thought how I “can’t wait til next year.”
Friday night, I descended upon my old stomping grounds, Columbus, Mississippi for the 1st McGowan Family Reunion. It was the first time the family had been together since my Aunt Florence’s funeral, which–at the time–was the first time the family had been together in 13 years.
My family couldn’t get together for a myriad of reasons.
1. Religious Split: Part of our family is Christian and part of it is Jehovah’s Witness. We respect each other’s religions, but it makes it difficult to get together during the holidays–seeing as Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate holidays.
2. Proximity: Everyone lives in different locations (Florida. Louisiana. Texas. Georgia). Logistically, it’s hard to get together.
3. Drama: We’ve had our share of infighting, which makes getting together hard.
When Flo passed, though, that changed. We realized how petty our differences were and started to love on each other.
That led to a reunion becoming a figurative and literal reality.
To open the reunion, there was a dinner to catch up and celebrate the occasion. About an hour into the dinner, I commented to my Aunt Allean: “This is nice.”
And it was.
I found myself thinking 20 years back and where everyone was.
I was in the 7th grade and a “Star Student.” (I hadn’t started messing up, yet.) My brother, Roberto, was in tenth grade and an up-n-coming “Track Star.” My sister, Christina was a senior in high school and a “Star Student.” My mom, Jeanette, was working on the Columbus Air Force Base.
My Aunt Allean had just accepted a new job in Shreveport, Louisiana. My Aunt Twanda worked at the post office. My Aunt Sandra was finishing her nursing degree. My Aunt Florence was starting the process of getting her Bachelor’s degree. My Uncle John was working for Graham Roofing.
My cousins were in grade school.
And my grandparents–Eddie Mae and Floyd–had moved to Columbus.
Now, I think the present day and how my family has evolved. I’m a 32-year-old “Star Teacher.”
My brother, Roberto, is a [government employee] and owner of a travel site: Phillipsloop.com. (He wouldn’t shut up about it. I know, he’s doing too much.) My sister, Christina, is a “Behavior Specialist” at her school. My mother, Jeanette, after years away from her job on the air base, was asked to come back to get it running smooth again.
My Aunt Allean will retire in a year from that job. When she retires, she’ll focus on her business: Children’s Escape Spa.
My Aunt Twanda is now a Postmaster and is the co-owner of a catering business: Southern Elite Catering. She owns and rents out a few homes, too.
My Aunt Sandra didn’t become a nurse. Instead, she decided to follow her passion and become a Spanish Teacher. She’s a pretty dope one, too.
My Uncle John is retired.
My cousins are now adults.
Flo’s kids–Cyrus and Walter–were good athletes. Cyrus played college basketball. Walter played college football and is rising in the ranks in Best Buy.
Their sister, Allyson is getting her nursing degree.
Alan Michael, Aunt Allean’s son, is a college graduate.
The next generation is off to a good start, too. Christina’s son, is the 6A Cross-Country Freshman of the Year in Texas. He’s a track star.
Christina’s other son, is a member of [his school’s] Honor Choir.
My Aunt Florence and grandad didn’t get to see the joyous moment of our family coming together, but their spirits are the reasons we came together.
My grandma, Eddie Mae, was there, though.
Saturday morning, I could see the happiness on her face. She said that she was proud of all her grandkids.
After that statement, there was a funny moment.
Me: “We took a while, but we found our way.”
Grandma: “No. You took a longggg time to find your way.”
Me (Following the mic drop): …
Following breakfast, there was a bit of leisure time. At least for most families, but not ours. We were grinding. I was doing lesson plans. Aunt Allean was handling business. Aunt Sandra was planning.
My grandma didn’t get why we were all working. In so many words, Aunt Allean had to let her know that we were “Beast”. That’s what we do.
I rested a bit after completing a little work. When I returned to the conference area, there was a spirited “Spades” game happening. Apparently, someone led off the game with a Spade. (A big no-no.)
Once the game was over, we took a family picture…a tremendous moment.
There was a “Formal Dinner” to commence the reunion. We ate good and “cut a rug.” Our “Soul-Train” line was lit. We did the “Electric Slide”, too.
As a family, we cleaned up the same way we began the weekend…together.
We said our goodbyes, or should I say, see you soons. The second reunion is already being planned by the grandkids, the parents handled the first
Can’t Wait Til Next Year.
I leave you with two things.
1. Does your family need to be restored?
2. Ask God and he’ll restore it.
God Bless, Jeremiah
Jeremiah can be followed on Facebook at Jeremiah Short – Journalist
Allean can be followed on Facebook at Children’s Escape Spa
…or at the following website: http://childrensescapespa.com/
Cyrus can be followed on Facebook at Elevate Basketball League
Featured image courtesy of Thimblepress