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October 23, 2014 / Ryan Edward Roberts

Mississippi Dinners Gone By

My job took me to Jackson Mississippi last week for an overnight visit . I had not been there in over 14 years. I had no idea it would bring up so many emotions in me.

I first moved there from Indiana when I was only 18, attending college as a music major. I married my high school sweetheart during Christmas break my sophomore year. We moved into an apartment complex close to the school. We lived there for a semester before moving away to continue our lives after school.

14 years later we moved back there again, this time due to my job as a pilot. We now had our 2 beautiful children with us. We spend 1 year there before moving on.

Even though my time in Mississippi only totaled about 3 years, they were 3 very memorable ones. Tender memories of my young bride, and wonderful times with my kids. My awesome, hilarious, smart, and loving kids.

Fast forward yet another 14 years, after divorce and bringing such pain to my kids, here I am again. Didn’t think much of it until I walked from the hotel I was staying in to go eat dinner at a Cracker Barrel. As I was walking I began to realize that this was an area that we frequented as a family.

I walked by a restaurant that I remembered us meeting our pastor and wife at to have dinner once. As I sat down by myself at my table in the Cracker Barrel, I couldn’t help but notice the checkerboard in front of the fireplace. My kids loved running straight to it to play while we went on to sit down. Even looking at the menu, I couldn’t help but recite to myself exactly what each of us would have ordered from it back in the day.

As I sat there many memories flooded back. I remembered how utterly happy we were. We didn’t make much money, but we had everything we could ever possibly need. Oh how things had changed over those 14 years. I just felt such sadness sitting there. Life is always unpredictable. We are unpredictable. Enjoy what you have, love who you have. Hug it tight.


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