In a year filled with reflections on family, community, and personal growth, the highlight for me was the joyous reunion with my loved ones. For five long years, I had been estranged from my mom, and two decades had passed without connecting with my dad. It took a moment of realization at the end of 2022 to question why I cherished my family so deeply while remaining distant.
My head literally said it’s stupid for me to be so distant from them but love them so much. It’s time to put things back together.
Earlier this year, I took the courageous step to reach out to my mom and rekindle the bond with my dad. I even orchestrated a conversation between my parents, breaking a silence that had lingered for far too long. A visit to my father in South Carolina around my birthday became a pivotal moment, creating a bridge to mend the gaps in our relationship.
Reconnecting with my mother's side of the family, I embraced the responsibilities that naturally fell on my shoulders. As the one closest to my late grandmother, our previous matriarch, and the child of my mother, the current matriarch, I had known my duties since childhood. This journey not only allowed me to learn more about myself but also revealed a newfound level of respect within my family.
The reunion was an emotional rollercoaster, providing insights into the depths of mutual understanding. My family, without witnessing my transformative journey, recognized the person I had become and welcomed me with open hearts. The love, joy, and shared burdens became the threads weaving us back together, stronger than ever.
There's a touch of spiritual significance to this reunion. A call from my Aunt Ronnie at the end 2022 hinted at the fragility of life. She subtly conveyed the urgency to reconnect with those I hold dear, as time might not be on our side. She didn’t say anything specifically alarming, but my intuition said very clearly “she is wrapping up her time here.” Sadly, on December 21st, 2023, Veronica Bernadette Nichols, “Our Queen” passed away. Her words served as a gentle nudge, urging me to seize the opportunity to rebuild these precious connections.
I fondly remember my last meeting with Aunt Ronnie. While she was going through it with a couple infections and difficulty breathing, I sat with her, talked to her, and just kept her company so she wouldn’t be alone. I held and stroked her hand, expressing my love. Despite her health struggles, there was a calmness in her demeanor, signaling that she felt the love she had always showered upon me. There we’re even moments where she was able to respond she let me know she understood, which is a gift forever treasure. The timing of our reconnection, just before her passing, became a poignant testament to the spirit of family.
On December 22nd, 2023, I hosted the first ALL NICHOLS WELCOME family event in many years, bringing everyone together. Turns out my invitation is the Switzerland of family discord. The sheer happiness and warmth of that moment are beyond words. Tears of joy, genuine smiles, and laughter filled the air, making it a Christmas miracle that came early. I’m smiling and crying now reminiscing on 3 days ago.
The only gift I wished for during the holiday season was to see my family united, and Santa delivered in the most heartwarming way.
This reunion wasn't just about rekindling relationships; it was a celebration of love, resilience, and the beauty of family bonds. As I write this, I can't help but feel a deep sense of gratitude and happiness, knowing that I've reclaimed an essential part of my life.
My message to you:
As we round out a year of spiritual openness, there’s still time for you to become the Switzerland for your family. There’s still time to reclaim the love that rightfully belongs to you. It’ stupid for you to be so distant from people you hold so dear. You probably have valid concerns, I do to. But if there’s space in your heart to put past hurts aside, to tackle new challenges with openness and empathy, you can repair the damage.