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'To know my mom was to love her': Family celebrates life of Alton business owner after Jamaica bus crash

Yvonne Campbell's family reopened her business, My Just Desserts, for the first time today since she died.

ALTON, Ill. — A Metro East business reopened for the first time today since its owner died after her tour bus crashed on a vacation in Jamaica.

My Just Desserts was open for carryout and for the community to pay respects.

Nakiyah Jackson is one of countless people in Alton, trying to make sense of her mother, Yvonne Campbell's death.

"To know my mom was to love her," Jackson said. “I’ve sat with myself multiple times a day just saying that I can’t believe this is my life, that I have to live without my mom.”

Jackson was on vacation with her mother and other family and friends, when her life changed forever. Their tour bus crashed, and eventually, Campbell died.

“To go to Jamaica and have to leave without my mom has just been heartbreaking," Jackson said.

Jackson and her family are left with nothing but memories and a connection to what Campbell loved most.

“She had one goal in life and that was to open this restaurant," her older sister LaJuana Morris said, "and so she did just that."

On Sunday, Jackson and other family members opened the restaurant for takeout dessert orders, and for the community to have a reason to be together. My Just Desserts opened its doors for lots of hugs, some tears, and even some laughs as people celebrated the role this space plays in their lives.

“That’s the rules of My Just Desserts, order dessert first, every time. You have to," Jackson said.

Even with the chance to carry on Campbell’s legacy, her loved ones say it doesn’t fill the hole that’s left.

“It’s a hard thing," her mother-in-law, Ophelia Jackson said. "But we’re gonna make it.”

For Nakiyah Jackson, her mother’s death is what now fuels her own life.

“She equipped me with everything I needed in this life, and I’ll be sure that my brother and sister get the same," she said.

As the family prepares for the potential to reopen, they’re doing all they can to reach out to the community.

Nakiyah Jackson said they’re working with another business in Alton to make T-shirts with her mother’s famous saying on them: "Order dessert first."

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