From Stranger to Family

When strangers become friends, and friends become family - that's where you'll find love.

We're now coming up on 4 years since I lost my oldest brother.

Although he was my brother, I happily shared him with so many others because he was always quick to turn strangers into friends, and friends into family.

If you knew him, you knew how quick he was to help: give you a ride, give you advice, help you pack, move you into your new house, pick you up from the airport at 2am.

If you didn't know him, you still somehow knew him: he was the one to offer you a ride if he saw that you'd just missed the bus and had to stand in the rain waiting for the next one. He was the one who would help you with a flat. He was the one who helped you when you fell off your bike and injured your wrist so you couldn't get yourself back up. He was the one who stopped everything and sprinted across a parking lot because he saw that your hands were full, and you'd dropped something. Or he was the guy sitting in the same row as you on the turbulent flight home whose light-hearted laugh hit just the right tone that you no longer felt nervous.

And if you loved him, you knew just how stubborn he could be with his helping. "I'm good, I don't need a hand." you'd say, and he'd show up anyway. "We'll never find my glasses; they're lost in the ocean... it's impossible. I'll just have to deal without them..." you'd say, as he would then proceed for another 2 hours, sifting through sand, long after you'd given up, until he'd raise his hand triumphantly holding your glasses in the air.

And if you happened to be his baby brother? There were countless emails, texts, phone calls, coffee-shop conversations, rants, lectures, times when he'd show up. Always there, always ready to help.

And abruptly, one day, it stops. And though it stops, but it's never gone - because you can't pick up a basketball without thinking about him teaching you to throw it. You can't write an email without thinking about how he'd edit it. You can't eat a cherry tomato without thinking about him teaching you the best way to eat them. You can't make a joke without thinking about how he'd make it better.

And you can't love without thinking about how much you love him.



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