A Phenomenal Reflection: “We’re Staying Together”

Our family reunion in 2017.

Sunday’s Reflection: “We’re Staying Together”

As I took my Walk, I thought about how We’re Staying Together.

Tuesday, after I shared the weekly theme with the kids: Be A Beast. I talked to them about a comment that ET(Eric Thomas) made in the video. He said that some of the athletes in the room have been tall their whole life…big their whole life. So, they’re used to being worshiped(by others).

I told them that he’s not being silly. I have a cousin that’s been tall his whole life. There’s even a picture with me and him as small kids, and he’s way taller than me, even though I’m two years older. He ended up being 6’9 and playing college basketball.

Following that short talk, one of my kids said that she feels like she knows my family.(I talk about them a lot. They gave me “The Blueprint.”)

Then I shared with them that my family came a long way. When I was growing up, we lived in a trailer.

Students(aghast): “A Trailer!!!”

Me: “Yes. A Trailer. I lived in one for most of my formative years.” (I use big words on purpose sometimes.)

I told them more about my family. My mom and her siblings slept in the same room as kids. All five of them. Now, they’re extremely successful.

At that moment, I was reminded of how excited I am for the upcoming family trip to Orange Beach, Alabama. I’m so excited that I’m participating in the family group chat for a change.(I once got kicked out for not saying anything.)

More so, I marinated on how my family got to the place where they could gather in love.

We’ve only convened three times as a family in the last 20 years. In 2001 for a family picture. In 2014 for my Aunt Florence’s funeral. And In 2017 for a family reunion.(The last with our grandma living.)

On the outside, it may seem that we didn’t come together because of family strife. Although there has been some, it’s more logistical.

My brother, Berto, was in the military and couldn’t come home often. My Aunt Allean and her family reside in Shreveport, Louisiana. Cyrus hooped at Arkansas and then Miami. My sister, Christina, moved to Houston after college. I moved to Houston a few years after college.

No matter the time apart and distance…the family has always been there for each other—through the good and bad. When all the kids graduated from high school and college, everyone that could show up…did. When Cyrus and Walter played in State Championships, everyone that could show up…did. When I went through my rough times in college, my aunts hovered around me to lend their support.

And when the family suffered devastating losses, our grandad(the patriarch), Aunt Florence(the linchpin) and grandma(the matriarch), we were there for each other.

Most families are split apart by key deaths. We weren’t. We got stronger. In fact, after Flo died in 2014, the family went through a growth spurt. We drew from her strength.

My Aunt Twanda is a postmaster and the owner of a thriving business: Southern Elite Catering. My Aunt Allean is closing out a long career as Director of Anatomical Services at LSU-Shreveport and oversaw a profitable business: Children’s Escape Spa(Recently closed to travel). My Aunt Sandra is a talented Spanish teacher. And my mom, Jeanette has returned to her former workplace and raised it to the previous standard.

Our parents have done well for themselves, but the kids haven’t done half bad. My brother, Roberto, has received several promotions and was recently named the NCO of the year. My sister, Christina, has become entrenched as a star teacher in our school district. My cousin, Walter, has established himself in the distribution industry. That tall cousin and Florence’s son, Cyrus, shook off the post-ball cobwebs and is experiencing success in the Hotel industry. Alan Michael, my Aunt Allean’s son, is a Customer Operations Agent. And while I took “a longggg time”, I’m an ok teacher and writer. (😊)

Don’t sleep on the next generation, either. My nephew, Christopher, is an elite cross-country athlete(All-State). His brother, Cullen, is a talented musician(Klein Children’s Choir). And the youngest, Nicholas Kento, is already exhibiting the same Type-A traits that everyone in my family has. (Apparently, he participated in a bike race and didn’t like that he had to use training wheels. No biggie, right? He’s 3!)

Five months from now, we’ll descend upon our Spring Break respite to discuss our losses, celebrate our victories and strategize how we can improve–as a family and people. I can’t wait.

We’re Staying Together.

Our Spring Break Vacation spot.

I leave you with two things.

1. Is your family unit strong?

2. If it’s not, what could you do to make it stronger?

Say Back.

1. What did you like about the Reflection?

2. What do you want to know more about?

Application: Write about he victories of your family.

Jeremiah Short, Educator

Published by Jeremiah Short

My name is Jeremiah Short, and I'm a educator with six years of experience. I love to teach and the overall craft of the profession. I've written one book on my journey(As I Took My Walk With God Volume I: I Stopped Wasting God's Time) with a second one way (As I Took My Walk With God Volume II: Greatness Was Upon Them). In addition to writing books, I've created several instructional routines: Word Power, T.I.D.E., Bloom's Units: Reading and The Phenomenal Classroom.

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