Submitted by: Janeisha Spruiell, General Manager
2009 was a rough year for me. I am originally from Chicago, but I tell people that I am from Dallas because I have been here for so long. It has always been me and my mom here in Texas while most of my other family are still in Chicago or East St. Louis, and I didn’t visit very often to either place to see them.
In March 2009, my mom passed away and my Grandmother passed away soon after. I was heartbroken and distraught. My mother was the only family I had been around for the past several years and then when my Grandmother was gone, I felt so guilty that I had not seen my family for so long.
On July 4th, 2009, my family in East St. Louis decided to have a mini reunion with a picnic in the park. I rented a car and along with one of my closest friends made the long drive to see my family for the first time in years. It was the best decision I have ever made.
I was able to see my brother and my sisters on festive terms. I got to see my paternal Grandmother and all my aunts and uncles. I truly missed this. I missed my family. We barbecued at the park then went to my Grandmother’s house and the kids ran up and down the street popping off fireworks. I hadn’t smiled and laughed like that for months. My cousin said something that I will never forget, “This is the life, there is nothing better than being with your family.”
It is true, family and celebration are important and you cannot wait until the bad times bring you together. Since then, I have made a promise to myself that no matter how busy life gets, I will keep in touch and go visit my family at least once every year.