The gang, 2009.
So back in 2006 a family moved in next door to us. An army wife and husband with four boys between them. Of course they were from Texas. They brought our cul-de-sac together; they taught our neighborhood how a neighborhood is supposed to be-close. We became very, very close. I have posted about them several times before. But, in a nutshell, the couple divorced, the wife moved away and we became even closer to the husband and the boys.
Then the husband, Cedric, got sent to Iraq for the 6th time. Cedric's brother, Allen, came to stay with the boys but he needed support too. So I stepped in as mama to the boys, especially the oldest and youngest. The second photo is of the oldest, Andre', and me.
They lived here for almost three years-a long stay for their lifestyle. Then Cedric got transferred to Georgia. The photo above is at a dinner we had as families right before they left for Georgia. They stayed with us for a few days before they left after their things had been picked up by the movers. Just when I thought I couldn't get more boys in my house they brought in Cousin Shaun too. It was crazy, wild, wonderful. A huge, wonderful family all hanging out together. I was in heaven. Remember, Cedric was also included to keep all these boys in line!
I know, the photos aren't lining up with the story, live with it. In April, Andre' (the oldest), who had joined the Air Force a few years ago was being transferred from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska to Afghanistan with layover for training in Maryland-yay! That's the top photo; the first time I'd seen Andre' in about four years. We got to see him a few times before his mom and Alec (the youngest and like a brother to Matt) came from San Antonio to see Andre' before he left.
We met up with Alec and Andre' at the bowling alley first. There was about 10 minutes of awkward time-gone-by feeling between Alec and Matt then, boom, brothers reunited and inseparable for the rest of the stay.
Alana, on the right, has lived next door since she and Matt were very young and she was always part of the great group of kids that played constantly together while Cedric, Alec, and Andre', and the rest lived next door to us. The kids had a great time playing basketball one night; it was just like the great old times. They are so young to have these long periods of time not seeing each other. My heart was so full watching them step right back into the past.
The night before they left we went to ride go carts and had a pretty wild time. We got to have Alec all but one night that he was here including this last night. So many years had gone by without seeing them but through the fabulous medium of facebook, had been able to keep in touch and coordinate this visit. There was a time we weren't sure if we were going to have them in our lives forever but I think we've proven that wrong. I pray that we will always stay this close and I ask for prayers for Andre' as he is in harm's way in Afghanistan. Alec has gone to live with his dad in Saudi Arabia for the next couple of years. It'll be interesting to see when we will all be together again. How blessed we are to have them in our lives.