It’s not the what; it’s the who

Natalee Reynolds, Columnist

Eastern’s annual Family Weekend was this past weekend. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and all kinds of other family members came up for the celebration. Eastern had a lot of different events happening throughout Friday and Saturday. 

My mother and grandmother came up Friday evening—we had made plans and bought tickets to the ‘80s-themed dinner and murder mystery event. 

Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the dinner theatre. Due to their jobs, they weren’t able to make it here until over an hour after the dinner was supposed to start (goodbye to that $60 we spent on those tickets). 

When they got here though, they were so excited to see me and greeted me with warm hugs. The excitement and warm hugs were returned and exchanged.

We were all hungry by the time they arrived, and since it was too late to go to the dinner, we decided to change plans and eat somewhere else—Magic Wok (which is by far the best Asian place around). 

Dinner was full of talking, laughing and smiling. We talked about all kinds of things and laughed about inside jokes. And although we weren’t able to make it to the ‘80s-themed dinner and murder event, we ended up having an absolute blast catching up at Magic Wok, just the three of us.

After dinner, we ended up going to Positively 4th Street, a local store that sells EIU apparel on the second floor. They were having a sale for Family Weekend, and it even included a free Family Weekend-themed T-shirt with a certain amount of purchases.

My grandmother was proud to have found an “EIU grandma” t shirt and even copped a few other goodies, including the free T-shirt.

At the end of the night, we came back to my room and said our goodbyes. The excitement and warm hugs that started the night ended with idleness and sadness.

I loved seeing my family, but the goodbyes are always bittersweet. I’m sure most college students and family members also feel this way about the goodbyes, so cherish each other and the moments you spend with each other.

The whole point of this story is just to show that it doesn’t matter what you do—what matters is who you spend it with. And the most important people in your life is your family.

Natalee Reynolds is a sophomore English and

creative writing major. She can be reached at

581-2812 or at [email protected].