Family Time w/ The Blacks @ Manning

If we’ve been friends for a while, or if you know a few chapters of my story, this is the weekend in every year we make sure to be with my Manning, SC, family. As a reminder, my late wife (Kinsey Black Jones from Manning) passed away on November 9, 2001. While the Blacks and I see each other a good bit, we always make a special effort to get together at this time of the year.

Some folks may think it’s a little odd that Jennifer and Finley make the trip with me, and that’s ok. After all, there are no set rules for this kind of thing. When Jennifer and I started dating, for example, the Blacks immediately embraced her into our family and the feeling was reciprocated. In short, we have an unusual and awesome bond, and none of us would have it any other way.

As always, it was a tough but overall awesome trip to Manning. We all ate lunch and hung out together at the house for a spell, while Jennifer, Finley, and I ended the afternoon with a visit to the cemetery with Mr. Black. Once again, I’m so glad we went.

A special thanks to my sister-in-law Stephanie Black for providing the flowers in Kinsey’s memory (the pic above) at Manning United Methodist Church today (and for Liz Black for snapping the pic despite her daddy getting miffed at her for Facebooking during church!).

Of course, I don’t type this post to tug at anyone’s hearts, or to make anyone sad. I am compelled, however, and feel a sense of responsibility, to mention Kinsey’s memory. Overly simplified, I just want to remind our friends “it’s that time of year.”

To sum up, here’s a sweet example/illustration of how our relationship has evolved over the years: although Jennifer knew of Kinsey’s battle with cancer 11 years ago via mutual friends, they never met; even so, while watching Mr. Black stand over Kinsey’s shining marker at the cemetery today, Jennifer cried her eyes out.



  1. Rhonda Bouknight says

    Stumbled upon your post today, powerful reminder of how important it is to remember and honor our love ones who have moved on. Thank you for sharing.

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