It’s summer time, the season of barbecues, gatherings and reunions, especially in the African American culture. My mom is one of 15 siblings and this year was our first year celebrating the legacy of her parents, my grandparents, Slater and Geneva West.
We started our trip with a prayer of thanksgiving. The reunion was held in Detroit, which is a 16 hour drive! Some of my family is a. Therefore, my family and I, who reside in the south, embarked on a road trip!
When we made it to our first event for the weekend, I saw my cousin and sisters hugging. We hadn’t saw each other in years, and my cousin was so overcome with joy she started to shed tears. That was a sign. This reunion was about to be a memorable one.
Saturday we went to Hitsville USA, the Home of Motown Records, which was very fitting because my family loves to dance and sing.
The evening event was the main attraction. We honored my grandparents, memorialized our deceased family, recognized our family Veterans that have served our country and of course celebrated my mom and her seven sisters, banquet style. It was an amazing night of laughter, glam, tears of joy, hugs, memories and needless to say, singing and dancing.
We ended our family reunion in church and my cousin who is a minister gave the sermon. The lesson I received from the message was to be faithful and resilient. Even as and when the situation is rough, faith will keep you standing. It really says a lot about the legacy of my family.
One thing about my people is that we love hard and we live out loud. The kinda of love we give and show each other is amazing. It’s an agape kind of love. It’s unconditional and it’s so intense that you can feel it.
I heard so many stories this weekend about how meek, innovative, funny, humble, determined, crazy (yes, everybody has a little crazy in them) and hardworking my grandparents were. But one of the most important legacies that they left behind was the unity they instilled in their children. Regardless of arguments or misunderstandings that happen with families, there is a love we have for each other that will never die.
My grandparents endured and overcame things like racism, losing two sons at at a young age and harsh living conditions. Most people would have given up, but they endured. In the midst of the trials, the love and laughter continued and as a result you have a family that is full of joy and is determined to stick together.
This reunion has sparked the beginning of an annual event. This weekend my family pledged to never take for granted what we have as a unit. We ended our trip with a prayer of thanksgiving.
Keep pressing and celebrate family.