To my family: All the thank yous that went unsaid

Having such a big, beautiful family is something I often take for granted.

It was hard to do that this July, when dozens of relatives traveled to Chicago and across the city for our 40th annual family reunion. Some of them bent over backwards to make sure we could celebrate together, and that’s nothing new.

They have been showing up for me since I was still in my mom’s belly. I’ll never truly be able to thank all of my family for all that they’ve done and continue to do, but this is my start in thanking my family.

Thank you cousins Codi and Chanel for always being willing to babysit, running countless errands and loving my son, Donovan, like your own. You all make him giggle from his gut.

Thank you cousin Darren for giving me someone to look up to and follow behind at granny’s house. Thank you Mr. D for always making sure I have someone to talk to and laugh with at family functions. Thank you cousins Drew and Mae Mae for laughing with me, checking on me and playing my made up games, again at granny’s house. Thank you cousins Andrew, Darren, Michael, Rachel, Terrell and Tasha for bringing those beautiful not-so-baby babies out to celebrate with us.

Thank you cousin Alesia for bringing such a beautiful spirit with you every time I see you. Thank you cousin Andrew for connecting the planners in the family to host the reunion. Thank you cousins Coretta and Renee for bringing Donovan so many goodies. Your onesies were the only ones he could fit for weeks.

Thank you cousin Patrick for bringing us together and bringing delicious lumpia to feast on. Thank you cousins Sylvia and Tony for welcoming me to Atlanta and always being such a joy to be around.

Thank you TT for always supporting Donovan, Donzell and I, for giving more than you get and loving everyone you touch. You treated this reunion like one of your babies, and it showed.

Thank you ma for being a wonderful model of what a woman, mother and grandmother should be.

 Donovan has some fun with his GiGi, Michelle Breland, at the end of the bouncy house slide. LAUREN FLOYD / INFO@HONEYCOMBMOMS.COM

To my family: all the thank yous that went unsaid | Honeycomb Moms | Donovan has some fun with his GiGi, Michelle Breland, at the end of the bouncy house slide. LAUREN FLOYD / INFO@HONEYCOMBMOMS.COM

Thank you Zell for loving Donovan so fiercely and loving me so consistently. Even when you’re away working, you’re with us.

Thank you T Shirley for being the life of the party and giving so much joy to everyone around you.

Thank you cousin Dee Dee for traveling near and far, usually by bus, to show up for our family. Thank you cousin Nicki for working cheerfully and completing every task asked of you. Thank you cousins Sonja and Tracey for creating beautiful centerpieces and connecting us with a caterer who bent over backwards for us.

Thank you cousin Deborah for cutting our shirts and making us look amazing. Thank you cousin Ray for frying fish after fish for us each year.

Thank you my surrogate auntie Tiny for always being there for my mom and I and being such a wonderful friend to her for so many years.

Thank you aunt Claretta for being the silent force moving with grace, prayer and love in our family. Thank you uncle Andrew for keeping us all on our toes and giving my grandma a run for her money.  Thank you uncle Ed for being every kid’s favorite. Thank you auntie Annie for helping my mother become the educator she is today and for supporting our family.

Thank you uncles Booker and Nathaniel for showing up consistently even though you’re always outnumbered by so many women. Thank you auntie Josie and aunt Anna for making delicious cakes, cobblers and pies to go with your infectious spirits and loving hands. Aunt Josie, you remind me so much of granny, who would be right alongside you if she were here.

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