I've been pondering this age old question lately. Why do we have children, adopt pets, fall in love, and make neighbors who are in the military and only going to be around a few years into family? Is it better to love and loose than to never love knowing some day you'll pay with all that same heart? Or should we just become hermits, close off our hearts, and never let anyone in so we don't have to worry constantly about our children, get attached to pets when chances are we'll never outlive them, and let people in that we know will leave us? I guess the adage is true, my heart is hurting right now but our lives are unimaginably better, more enriched, and truly blessed because of these relationships.
But my heart lost a few limbs this week. Above is a photo of us out at dinner with some of our adopted family who moved this weekend. They were supposed to leave on Friday to transfer to their home state of Georgia but ended up with the move from hell and so we got the advantage of having them not only here longer but because the movers had taken everything we got to house them. Above, from the left, are Cedric (Daddy to me), me (Momma to Cedric, as in, "Hey Mamma, what's the plan for the boys today?", etc.), Paul, Andre' (my 21 year old "adopted son"), Sean (Cedric's nephew), Tiffany (Andre's "friend"), Alec ("my" youngest and for whom I am legal guardian when Cedric is out of town), and Matt (bff and like brother to Alec). Not here are C.J. and Miles who have lived here off and on in the three years that the family has been our next door neighbors. Not only did we become like family with them but they brought our whole cul-de-sac close like it had never been before. We all went through a lot during the time while Cedric was in Iraq and when he returned. We all pulled together to help "Uncle Allen" with the boys during that time.
Here are Daddy and I. He always thinks Paul is going to shoot him when I do things like this (Paul took this photo), but Paul wouldn't shoot anyone and he understands the close relationship that Cedric and I have. Paul has his own close friendship with Cedric and we've both lost our best friend-yeah-that's what it is, and it hurts. He's also been our mentor, our marriage counselor, our individual counselor, and wonderful friend. I've never known anyone who knew so much about human nature more than Cedric. We've kidded that when Cedric retires from the Army (if they ever f***ing let him) he should become a psychiatrist but he'd never make money at it because he would solve everyones' issues in one session by kicking their asses and telling them to get their shit straight. He gets to the bottom of any problem very quickly and easily and does so in a completely common sense, albeit brutally honest, manner.
Me, Paul, and Andre' (the oldest of the adopted boys-21). What a great guy, so good, sweet, honest, open, and loving; a son of my heart and soul.
Daddy, Matt, and Alec.
BFFs like brothers, Matt's having such a hard time too.
So while the guys were stuck here a few extra days, they all spent a lot of time in front of some kind of screen while I walked around dazed with a spatula in hand ready for the next meal. We had several computers and t.v.s (mostly some sport) going at the same time.
And blackberries, and nano-whatsits.
And computers and nano whatsits at the same time.
Fortunately they left behind a few valuable items that are at our house and that we have keys to and have hidden so we know they'll have to be back pretty soon to get leftover after leftover. Actually Cedric has three more cars to come get, so we'll be seeing them a few times and we already have plans to meet at the new indoor water park in Williamsburg in January which will be half way for all of us. Paul was questioning if January was too soon because we might just be starting to heal some but I told him, "Going from everyday to a month from now? I dont' think that's too soon.". Love really is an interesting thing; you just never know where it's going to pop up and how exactly it's going to effect you, but in the end, it is a wonderful blessing even when it pinches a little.