52 Weeks of Gratitiude

 

Week 7: A friend

Sine I have already talked about my female friends I thought I would mention my friend Brandon, and why I am so grateful for him!

I met Brandon in the early summer of 2009. I wasn’t very talkative back then because I am often quiet when I first meet people, but after I start to feel more comfortable I act like the big goofball I am!

Neil received his kidney transplant in August of 2009. My dad was diagnosed with lymphoma at that same time, and I was in Baltimore with Neil at the time. Neil had a lot of issues with the transplant at first, and needless to say I was a wreck. Brandon, who had only met me a couple of times and really didn’t know me very well offered to come get me from the hospital if I needed a ride, since I wasn’t familiar with Baltimore, I didn’t need to call him, but I know that if I had he would have dropped everything to be there for me.

I needed to come home to be with my family and also work. Neil was still in the hospital. We went a month without seeing each other. During that time Brandon reached out to me. He said he had been keeping in contact with Neil to see how he was doing, but he wanted to reach out to see how I was doing. He told me that he knew things had to be hard on me because Neil was in the hospital and I couldn’t be with him, and my dad was battling cancer, and he knew I had to be a wreck. He informed me that I could add one more person to my support system, he told me how much Neil meant to him, and that he could see how happy I made him. It didn’t take long after that for Brandon to become my brother too. If I had met Brandon before Neil, I have no doubt that he and I would have grown close. He is not my brother only because he’s Neil’s.

Brandon and I share a lot of similarities, including our love for classic vehicles, so of course when I got the opportunity to ride in his awesome truck that his grandfather gave him, and Brandon has put so much of his own time and money into fixing, I took it! I have sought out advice from him, and have gone to him when I needed support, including a subject that is very difficult for me to discuss. There are only a handful of people who know this about me, and while I can talk to Neil about anything, it’s hard for him to see me in pain, and it’s hard for him to sit still and not go after the person who has caused me so much pain, so I opened up to Brandon, and his words were so comforting, much like the first time he reached out to me. I don’t know that I’ve ever thanked him for either of those instances, but it’s something I will always cherish, and it’s one of his characteristics that just makes me love him more! He has ALWAYS been there for me. Sometimes he doesn’t have to say anything, he wraps me in one of his big bear hugs, and I know everything is going to be okay, and he always lets me know just how happy he is to see me! He has taken me under his wing and introduces me as his sister!

Not only do I love Brandon like a brother, but his whole family has become my family. I instantly fell in love with both of his boys. His youngest was only three when I first met him. He asked me if I was Uncle Neil’s girlfriend, and when I said yes, his reply was “No, you’re mine!” Ha ha! His oldest son started calling me Aunt Kristian soon after I first met him, and hugged me and told me that he loved me after only knowing me a short time. Both boys are so sweet and hold a special place in my heart. Brandon’s wife Jen has become like a sister to me. She’s one of my best friends, and while we don’t talk every day we both know that we would do anything for each other. She and I have shared many in depth conversations, and have enjoyed shopping together. Writing about them brings tears to my eyes, because I miss them SO much!

So Brandon, I thank you for everything you have done for Neil and I. For being such a great friend, for opening your arms to me and for being the amazing person that you are! I look forward to more crazy adventures with you!!

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