By David Abdel
By the time you dear friends read this, I’ll have moved. So consider these parting words as my farewell to the wonderful town of Kyle.
I moved to Kyle shortly after I started teaching at Lehman High several years ago. While there was love of living in Austin, I felt there was a strong need to live where I taught. I wanted to have a stake in the community, a shared productive desire with those in my class and the families connected to them. If I was going to relate to their experience, I had to experience it myself, the best I could. So I moved to Kyle so that I could “live here, give here.”
What I found in Kyle was unexpected. I thought I was moving to a new place to live, and what I found was a home. The families of my students were incredibly welcoming and as I came to know many of them well, they made sure I knew that Kyle was a town of connections. The people are connected to the town through a shared history, and connected to each other not only through intricate familial relationships, but also shared experience. This truly was a community.
Kyle came to be something more than a residence to me. The people I met through my career helped me to understand that first and foremost, Kyle was a family town. Beyond the development, beyond the retail, beyond anything else, this town was about looking out for one another. I witnessed it. I embraced it. Over the last year and change, between COVID and the Great Texas Freeze, the togetherness of Kyle was on full display. Everyone was willing to go the extra mile to help out family, friends, neighbors and strangers. Kyle was truly a shining example of the greatness of a community.
Kyle will always hold a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyle when I met my wife, and convinced her to leave Austin and settle down with me here. We bought our first home as a couple, right here in Kyle. When our first child was born, his first home was here in Kyle. Our second, due in August …. well she won’t be born in Texas but she’ll have Kyle roots. My first job in education, what I believe to be my calling, was right here in Kyle. My first foray (losing) into running for office, was right here in Kyle. I met some of the best friends of my life, and met some of the people I will care deeply for an eternity, right here in Kyle. Kyle fundamentally altered my life for the better and I will spend the rest of my days in thankfulness for the blessings this town bestowed upon me.
So, I want to take these last few words to give you an ask. I ask that you be kind to the thousands of new Abdel’s that have moved here, are moving here and will be moving here in the years to come. I ask that you show them (and everyone else) the best of yourself. I ask that you make them realize that moving to Kyle is the best decision you can make because this town is a family town that loves their neighbors and can’t wait to help them not only put down roots but make sure their roots are strong enough to stay, to weather any storm, and to grow fruitfully. I ask that you continue to ensure that Kyle remains not just a place, but a home. I ask that you reach across the fence, across the yard, across the street, around the block, across the highway and yes, across the aisle, and come together to focus on the most important aspect of Kyle of all: community. We can do better together. I love you Kyle.