This past weekend, I was blessed to spend time with my family. At my eldest brother’s request, I decided to share the importance of family, community and love.

The summertime tends to bring families together for backyard barbecues, picnics and annual family reunions. Being a southern girl I’m down for all three.

A year ago I met with one of my cousins and decided it was time my family had a reunion. It had been more than fifteen years since our first one. Sure, we have gatherings all the time, but nothing where we rally family together near and far to share stories, learn our history and propel the future generation.

On June 21, 2014, my family (The Grant Family) did just this. I saw women and men, young and old, babies and toddlers, laughing, playing, sharing and learning their history. It was a proud moment for me, and I know for sure, my brother.

Family is something we take for granted. We forget how important it is to have a family. We neglect the bond established as children.

As a kid, nothing and no one could keep me from spending time with my dad’s side of the family. My grandmother lived a block away from us. My mom would tell me not to leave the house. As soon as she was preoccupied, I would sneak out the house and run to my grandma’s house.

There I found a home filled with laughter, arguing, fighting, cussing and the whole nine. It was the best time as a kid. To this day, when I look back it, it brings fond memories. My family was far from perfect, but the one thing we had, and continue to have for one another, is love.

My grandmother (Eula Grant) taught the women how to be strong. She told us not to allow anyone to take advantage of us. If you messed with one of us, you had to deal with the entire family. Anyone who knew anything about the Grants knew it would be better to dance with the devil than to bother a Grant. LOL!

At our reunion I saw the Grant women taking charge, as they always have. I saw the Grant men supporting us, doing what we asked of them and leading their families. I saw the next generation of Grant women and men learning their heritage and positioning themselves for their family roles.

Those who have passed on would be proud. What they taught us, fought for and instilled in us, runs through our blood. I was always told being a Grant is like being a Kennedy. We’re not perfect, but we stick together and we wear our family name with pride and dignity!

As you enjoy your family during the summer season, take time to share love, memories and embrace your family legacy.

Until next time, continue to Soar!