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Updated: Feb 2

Day 1: Family

Isaiah 59:21

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

Song: "The Blessing" by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes

Happy First Day of Thanks Everyone!

Today, I give thanks for Family.

Since the beginning of this year, my oldest sister asked us siblings to bring ourselves and our immediate families to Orlanda, Florida so that we could spend the Thanksgiving holiday together. I immediately started looking for airline flights and putting aside the finances to ensure that Lilah and I would be spending the holiday in the love and company of my family. We knew that it would be the first Thanksgiving without my mother and somehow all of us knew that we would need the shelter of each other’s love and presence to comfort ourselves. Throughout the months in preparation, each of us siblings started to make requests about the holiday week. My little brother asked if we could do Christmas themed pajamas. Check. We had to ensure that someone had UNO cards. Check. My little brother, who is almost twenty years younger and navigating cooking, asked if he could make the Thanksgiving cornbread and if we could have family breakfast when he arrived. Check.

Lilah and I were the first to arrive in Florida. A day later, my niece arrived. Then my brother arrived on Thanksgiving eve. We had fun shopping for meals for the week and Thanksgiving. I introduced my sister to one of my favorite stores (Aldi’s) and showed her the quality of their food and products at their low cost. We had a time shopping for the turkey breast that my sister likes. We finally found them after several runs to different stores. I even found a Duncan Hines keto chocolate cake batter and cake frosting, which I never knew existed, so that we could all sing Happy birthday to Lilah for her 21st birthday. Unfortunately, I’ll probably never buy that cake batter again because it has soy in it, but it was a great quick fix.

We laughed so hard during our time together, especially from my nephew’s comedic relief, I felt like I was going to constantly pee on myself. Even Lilah got some snaps in when one set of the great grand babies walked in the house without their hair being freshly done. If you know Lilah, you know Ms. Diva does not play people having unkempt hair or clothes; she will shout you out in a minute telling you to “do your hair!” My sister, their nana, got on task to ensure that she got her grand babies on point. My sister and I shared several ginger tea moments and conversation. (Did you know that a premenopausal symptom can consist of swollen gums? Lawd, have mercy! I don't want any more premenopausal anything.)

I did the first round of cooking to finish all Lilah’s keto meals, while my sister and niece went to get my brother from the airport. We had Wednesday morning breakfast as requested. My sister made us some eggs, turkey bacon or sausage and some southern style grits and cheese. (YUM!) Later that evening, my sister insisted on cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal by herself. We had turkey breast, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, stuffing, macaroni salad, corn bread and the works. My sister didn’t want me to do anything but enjoy my vacation time. I was so grateful to her. I have to admit it was wonderful getting to just relax, which is never something I get to do often as a single mom of a special needs child. The rest and relaxation were much needed because I was still under the weather with a really bad cold.

Spending the time with my family was amazing! We played rounds of UNO; yours truly was the first winner. My nephew, brother and two of the great grand babies played video games together. I got to watch action movies and series on Netflix and Prime video, of which I had never heard. The annual Christmas classic movie of my sister’s clan is ELF with Will Ferrell in it. I had never heard or seen it before. We watched the movie as a family. It was quite funny and a great family movie to watch.

The second set of great grand babies (there are four in total) came on Saturday. It hurt our heart that they didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with us since the oldest called to ask if they were getting picked up. Their mother is still very vengeful and goes out of her way to ensure that my family seldom sees them. She had them eating KFC on Thanksgiving rather than be with us and lied to us saying they were out of town, when they were in fact at home about fifteen minutes away from my sister’s house. (Their mother either doesn’t realize or doesn’t care that the great grand babies are old enough to know what’s happening and don’t lie to us about their whereabouts and what’s going on with them.) The great grand babies missed seeing their aunt and their great uncle, my little brother, because they had to travel back to their respective homes in NYC and Virgina for work. I was so happy that I got to love on all four of my grand niece and nephews before we left Florida. We all visited and walked around a beautiful city park, Cranes Roost Park, to see the holiday lights and Christmas tree. We picked up some fresh pies and treats to enjoy at home with the delicious chopped chicken over rice my sister made us. We watched more family movies. The grand babies talked about how well they were doing in school and showed us report cards and test scores to prove it. We all talked about our lives and future endeavors.

It was such a beautiful time of love, laughter and fun with amazing food! Nothing beats family!

Today, as we give thanks for family, please consider donating to the Bronx H.Y.P.E Family Enrichment Center, through its sponsor organization, the Reggio Emilia Montessori Center,, or donate on our Instagram page bronxhype.fec as we fundraise to meet our goal of $30K for our 2024 HYPE Community Dinners. The Bronx HYPE FEC’s mission is to build strong families in the Mott Haven & Melrose Section of the South Bronx. During 2023, the Bronx HYPE F.E.C. has collaborated with Empanology to provide bi-weekly community meals to members of the South Bronx Community. These meals have brought so many neighbors together for meeting and networking opportunities and have ensured that less fortunate families are guaranteed a healthy full course meal. We fed over 200+ families this year and seek to feed 500 families in 2024. We’d love to have you at our last two community meals of the year on December 6th and 20th at 111 Bruckner Blvd, suite 203, Bronx NY 10454. Please RSVP in the linktree on IG: bronxhype.fec.

Love ya,

Have a Great Day of Thanks!

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