This is not going to be a story of brothers-in-law who so inherently identify with each other that they just effortlessly connect and develop a relationship. This will not be a story of brothers-in-law where despite all differences, they could just appreciate on merit the others point of view.
One of the things that has always pissed me off most about Andy is the incessant need of his to add “in-law” to the end of his description of those in my “family of birth” and what he has made his family of choice. Tough to get added on top of such a great family that he came from.
I will never be to Andy what his real brother is to him, but I hope to spend my days left being the best brother-in-law I can be to him. The best uncle to his kids. The best brother to his wife, my sister.
He probably doesn’t know that the “in law” thing bothers me. Our relationship is one lacking a lot of confrontation but not because we don’t have reason to debate.
I have rarely felt the need to challenge Andy because in him is trustworthiness and respect, reverence and a sense of empathy…all of which create a persona I once would have called something other than what I now call it which is: calm, peaceful.
It is a combination of things that I don’t quite understand but dare not challenge except when I really must.
Beyond that, Andy is a great guy and provides so few opportunities to challenge his point of view, especially for a logical guy like me. It doesn’t mean I haven’t tried and it doesn’t mean some of his idiosyncrasies don’t drive me up the fucking wall.
But I’m far from being in a place to judge or call him out for his quirks when he has very lovingly embraced all of mine, even without saying so. Perhaps without wanting to. Definitely without knowing that it was part of the deal.
Andy has the entirety of my trust, and while at times it has been a struggle to accept that many parts of him were more the son my father wanted than I could ever be, I’m so thankful he’s all the man he is so I had time to figure my shit out.
I won the PowerBall, you see. Andy is a billion dollars in the bank, a guarantee, a freedom and now as a guy without a living father, in many ways my father figure. I love him deeply and those are words I’d likely never say to his face.
Andres Ernesto, happy birthday. I love you, my brother-in-law, but as a kid who grew up with all girls, I’m glad just to have someone I can call a brother…”in law” or not.