It was Richie's friend, Brent. Brent had lived just down the street for their whole lives. He was a pretty common fixture at their house. But, Brent had a friend with him today. A friend I had never met before. None of us had. That didn't change the fact that I knew who he was the second he walked through the door. We all did. I swear, it was like a younger version of my Uncle Terry had just entered the room. So, this was my brother.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Dad invited him to come over to our house and meet Mom, Amanda and myself. It was amazing to finally get to meet him. It was like Richie had said, he was one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. What was really amazing to me was all of the things we had in common. There were so many things that I would have assumed would be a common thread due to the fact that you were raised together. But, I found that the family gene pool determines a lot more than I had previously thought.
He quickly became a common fixture at our house. Him and I truly bonded in the months following our meeting.We were together all the time for a short season. But, life is full of twists and turns. He had made a trip back out to Texas for his best friend's wedding. While he was there, he met some pretty, little red head who caught his eye and captured his heart. When he got back to Michigan, he immediately began making plans to move back to Texas. He had full intention of marrying this feisty little debutante. And, so he did. Round about the same time, I was making plans to move to Ohio and spread my fledgling wings. I've lived in 2 other states since those days, but haven't called Michigan home since I was 19.
Given our geographical locations and other circumstances that life throws at you, we haven't seen each other since those bonding days shortly after we met some 16 years ago. He now has 3 children of his own and we've never met each other's families. He occasionally visits the family back in Michigan. I was usually in Florida when this happened and couldn't get up there. They fly out to Texas and see him. I'm glad that he's still close with the rest of them. Him and Amanda became very tight through the years. I'm looking forward to the day when we'll be able to connect again and our own families will be able to meet. Until then, there's always e-mail...