It's been almost a year since Sister, Sister star Tamera Mowry-Housley lost her 18-year-old teenage niece Alaina to a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California that claimed the lives of 12 at a country-western themed bar frequented by college students. But while the loss has been incredibly hard on the family in these past few months, in an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, the former sitcom star's twin sister Tia Mowry-Hardrict opened up about the tragedy and revealed how the hardships have given everyone a "different perspective on life."
"You know, it's been hard, I'm not going to lie," Mowry-Hardrict told PopCulture.com when asked how she and her family have been coping. "It's given everybody a different perspective on life and not that we didn't enjoy life before or not like we didn't enjoy each other before, but I think that it's really brought everybody closer together."
While the sisters are famously known for their roles as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell on the popular '90s show, it would be easy to assume the two might be attached at the hip similar to how their characters were in Sister, Sister. However, with the twins growing up and now each married with kids, time ultimately passes without them visiting one another on a regular, or semi-regular basis. But, The Game actress admitted after the loss of Alaina last November, she and her sister, Tamera make it a point to try and visit each other once a week.
"Every Sunday, my sister now, when she's in town and working on her show, she will come to my house and visit me," Mowry-Hardrict revealed. "Whereas before, she didn't do that. It was almost like we take things for granted, you know? So, we just have a new perspective on life."
Mowry-Hardrict says something cool about her family is in how they've all allowed one another to "properly grieve," and while that looks different for everyone, each member has been respectful to one another in that emotional process.
"Some people move on faster than others, some people heal differently. I think that's what's so wonderful about the family is we all give each other respect on how we all grieve," she said. "But I think that's something that you don't really notice until it happens to you."
Mowry-Hardrict's family has only grown since marrying husband Cory Hardrict and having two kids, Cairo Tiahna Hardrict, 1, and Cree Hardrict, 8, and now she's starting new traditions of her own. One way she brings her family together is through food, specifically at breakfast time. Recently, the mom of two partnered with Quaker Oatmeal after the family-favorite company for over 142 years conducted a survey among Americans to see how they rise and shine.
"I think what's really cool about Quaker is they conducted this survey, where they discovered some really cool, kind of breakfast trends, and they found that Americans tend to feel nostalgic when it comes to breakfast. And whatever they end up eating — or whatever they feel inspired to eat is usually something from their childhood."
She has since decided to bring a brand that was part of her childhood into her own home, even creating a recipe herself: Banana Chocolate Oat Pancakes, using the popular brand for her recipe. And with the recipe just in the time for the holidays, it's the perfect complement to her latest Lifetime holiday movie, A Very Vintage Christmas set to release later this fall.