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One thing I love about being raised in Hyde County is thatI was always around family. I noticed the close knit-ness of my family from a young age. Every holiday, tons of family members would meet up in Engelhard and we’d have so much fun just being in each other’s presence. Growing up, I only celebrated holidays because I thought they were in the Bible (spoiler alert – they aren’t). I didn’t understand the purpose of holidays, I just knew my family, school, and the people at church were celebrating them. I only looked forward to some holidays because I knew hella family members were gonna pull up and we were gonna have a great time being together.

When I was a little girl, I used to be in everyone’s face being annoying. I loved getting loved on by my great-grandma’s siblings and my cousin, Vanessa. When my great-great aunt passed away, I couldn’t attend her funeral because it was in New York. When my great-great uncle passed away, that was really hard for me. His funeral was in Engelhard. I held myself together really well until Grandma Aggie viewed the body for the last time. I saw her sweet little head drop into her hands crying, and I just couldn’t hold back my tears.

Grandma Aggie passed away 3 years later; 9 days before Christmas. The family still came together and had a great time but losing Grandma Aggie created a big void none of us could fill. I always looked forward to seeing my cousin Vanessa come down from New York; she was fun to be around. When I learned how to braid hair, I talked with Vanessa on the phone and asked her could I braid her hair when she came to visit again; she said yes. Vanessa passed away from breast cancer two years after we loss Grandma Aggie; I never got to braid her hair. Holidays weren’t the same for me anymore. I was happy to be around my family members, but the little girl in me was terribly missing the days when more family members were here.

In addition to celebrating holidays together, my family began celebrating the birthdays of Grandma Aggie’s daughters, Aunt Elaine & the twins, Aunt Doris and Grandma Dawn. Every year, the family would get together for surprise parties or dinners to celebrate the girls. Me and my cousin even sang at one of Aunt Elaine’s birthday celebrations. We sounded sooooo bad. Lol. I looked forward to the birthday celebrations with my family; they were always so full of love.

I talk about how and why I love on Grandma Dawn more in my post SNOWCONE. I’m appreciative for the family gatherings we have now. I love being in the company of my family. They get on my nerves, but it’s nothing compared to how much I get on their nerves, and that makes me happy. No matter how old I get, when I’m with my family, I’ll always be little SiSi who talks wayyyy to much and eats too fast. I’ll always be little SiSi who butts in others’ conversations.

So, when I snapped this picture of oysters at one of my family gatherings, I was reminded to cherish time with my family. You never know if it’s gonna be the last time you’ll see someone, or the last time they’ll see you. Spend time with your family; love on your family members; let your family members know that you love them.

Life Lesson:

· Cherish quality time with family.

How I Apply it to My Life:

· When I’m with my family, I’m with my family. I make sure to include myself in the mix in some overly annoying way, in true SiSi fashion.

Song: No song for this post!

SLIDESHOW: Pics from a few family gatherings.


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