Family is everything. You can’t pick which family you are born into. I thank God for the family that I have. But you can pick your path in life and be resilient despite any obstacles that you face growing up. It is important to know that you can break generational curses as stated in the bible. If you came from a single parent home growing up, you have the power to change that when you are older. You have the power to break the cycle of abuse and destruction if that is what you experienced growing up. Let the change start with you.
Harrison and Sydney mean the world to me. My entire family is the best village I could be a part of. At an early age I learned that as a family, you help another family member out when they need you. When a family member has a difficult time, you don’t judge them you pray and find a way to help fix the situation.
Family means fun times, laughs and tons of food. In Michigan we would gather for Sunday dinners and on all holidays. It would be a potluck of soul food and love. In Delaware when we would visit, Pop Pop Matthew would roast a pig on the farm. He would come to the farm with a pig in the back of his pickup truck. We would watch in amazement as Pop Pop and my uncles would prepare the pig to be roasted. As kids we would try to stay up all night outside watching the pig roast near the fire. We would listen to the older relatives tell stories at night. We would listen to music and think about all of the fun we would have the next day when the real party started. That is when the farm would fill up with family from all around. It was a party that lasted all day and well into the next morning.
The great thing about family is that we always make up after a fight or disagreement. No family is perfect. We all have drama or skeletons in the closet. But at the end of the day we are family. Family is all you have. Family is there to support you when you graduate, play a sport, have a recital, get married, have a baby, when you at your highest and especially when you are at your lowest.
Make sure you have enough aluminum foil, maybe that is only for black families. When we have a get together someone is going to ask to “take a plate” home for later. We have now upgraded to carry out containers. I can remember each family member made one specific dish that we always wanted. In our family the recipes are golden and hidden under lock and key. See my Auntie Tennette was known for the mac and cheese, my grandma Bertha was known for cooking everything. But I would say her german chocolate cake and pineapple upside down cakes were the best for me. My Auntie Anne was known for her homemade rolls. Aunt Liz made a vegetable burger that was yummy. The men in the family could all man the grill! My Auntie ReRe was known for the jello molds, and Aunt Nita was known for the dressing and peach cobbler. My Aunt Mary Helen fries the best chicken ever and makes a slamming pecan pie. There are many more family members that have their specialty dishes, but this is all making me hungry.
Now my mommy, Lola Mae is the best cook in the world. At least that is what ever child thinks about their mom. When I was younger I would watch my mom prepare meals and try to help whenever I could. She makes the best potato salad, apple pound cake, seven up cake, meatballs and the list goes on and on. Just yesterday she cooked and told me to come over and “fix my plate”. I went to her house with my Tupperware containers. All she could do was just shake her head. You see my mommy won’t share her recipes. They are in a safe place so that we can continue to pass them along to the younger generations. She is a fabulous cook!
No matter if we came together for a sad occasion or for a family reunion. I remember the blessing of the food before we ate and just enjoying the meal and conversation with all of my cousins and family. At Christmas time Pop Pop Matthew would give us a sip of beer or moonshine who knows! It is those memories that I remember.
When I lived in Michigan I loved entertaining. It was much easier for me to entertain at my home because Syd was in her comfort zone and could go to Australia when she needed to. I prepared each meal with love. I know that sounds corny but I did. I want my children to remember the special things that I made for them. Will Harrison say it was my famous gorilla burgers(don’t ask) or my banana pudding? Will Sydney say it is my seven cheese mac and cheese or my ribeye steaks? We have the best time being surrounded by trays of food and desserts.
Memories are made around the dinner table, family traditions are remembered and passed down. Don’t take these moments for granted and don’t let the sun set without making up with family. Family will fight, argue and disagree. But your family is all that you have. Don’t forget the aluminum foil, you’ll need it.