The Jessica Diaries

The Jessica Diaries: 5 Lessons From My Family’s Latest Cookout


From The Jessica Diaries

In celebration of Mother’s Day this year, my family (mom’s side) had a cookout. I had my new camera on deck in an effort to work on one of my 100 In A Year tasks and also get some practice shooting in. I’m not too impressed with how some of the photos came out (I couldn’t get my lighting together) but I had such a good time, my camera wasn’t a factor.

In the midst of me enjoying precious moments with my family, I picked up (and was reminded of) several life lessons.


Life really is short.
Every time I get to thinking that I’m young, something happens that reminds me just how fast time flies and how short life really is (and how getting old is inevitable). My cousins who I used to play in the yard with have children, my uncles and aunts are getting grey hairs all over the place and my cousins that I used to babysit are growing mustaches! We have to make use of every single day that we’ve been granted because before you know it, you’re old and wishing you could have done more.


Family: We’re all we’ve got.
Every family has their issues but at the end of the day, family is all we have. It was funny seeing how some of my relatives were no longer with the spouses that I came to know, how my cousins and myself no longer date people that came around to past family functions with us and even how we’re no longer friends with certain people. Folks will come and go in your life, but one thing that’s for sure is that your family will always be there to pick up the pieces and move on with you.


It’s your responsibility to build a legacy for those to come.
I couldn’t help but get emotional looking at the babies and young children of our family. I managed to hold back my tears, but I realized that it does take a village to raise a child. It’s all of our responsibility to make sure the little ones succeed in life and have the best chance and opportunities that are available. That’s partly why I do what I do – to make sure my nieces, cousins and (future) children have jobs and wealth as and when they get older.


Stay in touch.
I was embarrassed to be asking some of my cousins what their jobs were, who they were dating, where they lived, etc. I should know these things! It’s important to stay in touch with your family as much as you do with your friends, church members and coworkers.


Cherish your loved ones while they are here.
My grandmother passed away the day after my birthday last year and her presence was noticeably missing. It felt so weird to be having a cookout and she not be there. No matter how we wished we could have picked her up to bring her there or fixed a plate to take her home or get a photo with her, we couldn’t. I expressed regrets I had before her death in a previous post, but you have to cherish your loved ones while they are here. No ifs, ands or buts about it. No exceptions either. You will definitely regret not doing so once it’s too late.

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This article is from my personal blog, The Jessica Diaries. To learn more about me and keep up with my latest musings, visit or like my personal Facebook page by clicking here.

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