West Texas Road Trip

This is going to be a very mixed emotion weekend for me. I have a small family. I only have 3 cousins since my mom was an only child. And while we haven't seen a lot of one another in recent years, we were very close growing up. Especially my brother and I and our cousin, Andy. He couldn't have been more opposite from us. He was a country boy through and through. He was good natured and funny and just content with life. Mark even went fishing with him last year and very little had changed. Except now we're grown. Married. And each have 2 kids, a girl and a boy.

Andy complained of a headache this past Sunday and finally went to the hospital when it became too much. He had ingested a very rare spore from the dirt that caused fungal menangitis in his brain.... this is so rare that his results were even sent to the CDC for review. There was nothing to do for him. And he was gone by Wednesday. He was 28. My heart feels so broken for his family. And for his dad who was his best friend. I know and believe that the Lord has a plan for all of us, and that He can use tragedy for His bigger plan. But to say I understand is another thing entirely.

So this brings me to the following pictures. I along with the kids set out on a 6 hour road trip out west. I was absolutely dreading it! But as you can see, they actually were angels. Thank you Lord for watching over us.

One up side to the trip. Dairy Queen. Seriously. I have an absolute love for DQ. This is day 1, blizzard #1 of this trip.
We got in pretty late and went straight to the hotel. My funny girl was raring to go after being pent up for so long.
And this little man was exhausted!
And it's day 2 of our road trip.
Linc loves to do this.... join me in the shower.

This morning will be special for me. My kids have never met my other grandparents, Syble and Sam. I was very close to them growing up, and I think my grandmother is beside herself to get her hands on the kids.
Day 2, Blizzard #2 of the trip.
the kids hijacked the walker.

And Uncle Rhett and daddy finally arrived just in time for us to leave for the viewing.
These are all of the great grand kids... ages 1,2,3,4,5.

This is Andy's little boy that looks so much like him when he was little. I wish I could've scooped him up and brought him home with me. He was such a handful but so cute!

Thank goodness the funeral home was understanding. These two put on a show.
I will say there was one extremely embaressing moment of the viewing. My son has an unnatural obsession with wheels. It doesn't matter where, when, or what they're attached to. I was talking to some people I hadn't seen in a very long time, and the next thing I know, I look up. He's gone. I begin to frantically search. And then, I hear giggling. He is at the casket, trying with all of his might to get those wheels going so he can roll it out. I could have crawled under a rock.

He then moved on to my grandmother's wheel chair.
Their chariot back to the room.
Ahhhh, I love love love them.
And this little man.... seriously, could he be any cuter? I know, he's mine, but still....
These were taken after the funeral, which was very nice and perfectly done to celebrate Andy's life.

Afterwards, my grandmother's church hosted a luncheon in his honor that we attended.
The last few images may seem totally random, but growing up, I was fascinated by this wall. They repaint it each year and let the graduating class come in and graffiti it so as to leave their mark for the year. They've even renamed the street Wall Street. So I grabbed a few pics with my crappy Walmart point and shoot camera. (and Mr. Rich graciously tried to doctor them up as best he could!)

Day 3, Blizzard #3.

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