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REFLECTIONS/Jonathan Gramling

Jonathan Gramling

Homegoing Part 4

It had been 27 years since I had seen my former wife’s family. When Joy died in June 2023, a Celebration of Life was planned for her to be held in Jackson, MS where Joy grew up. I was invited to the celebration and I didn’t know what to expect. That first night when we went for seafood at a restaurant on the banks of the Ross Barnett Reservoir, my (step) daughter Jennifer and I hugged when we saw each other in the parking lot and I knew everything was going to be alright.

Andrew wanted John, his stepdad, to attend and offered to pay for John’s and his meals. It was a wonderful meal as Jennifer, her three children, her grandson, my sister Katy, Andrew, John and I enjoyed each other’s company along with the mountain of seafood that we were served. There was a lot reminiscing and laughter as we caught up on old and new. We just about closed the place out.

In the end, I said that I would pay for everyone’s meal. I didn’t want to ruin the moment by making John feel like an add-on as Andrew paid for them separately. Andrew seemed to be in the same space and quietly relented.