You never really know who is going to be a big part of your life when you meet them…

Aaron Driver – A nerd in his natural habitat. Now he’s getting married. What!?

Aaron,

Hey I am excited to be at your wedding ceremony tomorrow and to see you and family (and finally meet or at least see Daphne) but I cannot stay for the reception because I have other friends getting married in Modesto and I am jamming over to their reception after missing their ceremony.

I won’t be able to offer a toast so I just decided to write this post that contained my thoughts.  I was going to just post it on you Facebook but it got too long. (Me being long-winded? Nothing new there.)

Anyway…

Yesterday night I was thinking about our friendship and realized we have known each other for a long time. I mean we started hanging out in the 90’s. For some reason I actually remember some of our first interactions.  I remember hanging outside of a church event as we waited for our parents to come pick us up early on McHenry. I remember talking about how awesome Fallout (1) was at Modesto Covenant Church.

Little did I know that we would eventually be such good friends and be part of each others lives for many years.

Since we met we have spent a lot of time together and created some great memories. I remember how your family has had a knack for eating cauliflower whenever I’ve been over for dinner, even though it was established early on that this was my least favorite food. I remember swimming in your grandfather’s pool and shooting his guns in your orchards.  I remember listening to Death Cab for Cuties hot new CD, “We Have the Facts and We are Voting Yes” (which was released in 2000) in the upstairs of your old house. I remember going to your parents cabin, getting snowed in, and thinking the roof was going to collapse when all the snow fell off. I remember lighting off fireworks in the middle of the night at your Waterford property.

In fact, as I reflected on it, most of my good memories from middle school and high school are the times I spent hanging out with you, Ian Lawder, Jason Niskanen, Michael Anderson, and the rest of the guys from Modesto High and Beyer High.

We’ve also been there for each other in some not so happy times as well. You, and others, were there for me when I got my heart broken for the first time towards the end of senior year in high school.  I remember being with you and your family at your grandfather’s funeral. Those times are part of life too and I’m glad we’ve at least not gone through them alone.

While for a minute it looked like were going to be roommates at UC Davis, life took us in different directions.  You went to Davis and I went to Canada.  After that you ended up in San Francisco and I headed down to L.A.  While we have kept in touch as we have been able, I think both of us would agree that we have not spent as much time together as we would like to. But I think we crossed that tipping point a long time ago where no amount separation could erase the friendship and memories we have formed over the years.  You and the other guys have been true brothers to me and your family has been a second family. Nothing will change that.

As you prepare for a really happy day tomorrow, may I just say it has been an honor and a blessing to have you in my life and I am grateful we have had the opportunity to grow up together from …well whatever we will in middle school to the young men we are now. I look forward to celebrating your transition into a new phase of life, as a married man, tomorrow with the rest of your friends and family. I wish you and Daphne all the best in the future and I know, regardless of where life takes us from here, know that I will always count you as a true friend. You always have been.

When we just met in middle school I had no idea we would end up hanging out this much or going through a lot of life, and all its ups and downs, together. It just goes to show you never really know who is going to be a big part of your life when you meet them…

…until they are.

P.S. Daphne, I look forward to actually meeting you and I am glad you are not the most elaborate hoax Aaron has ever pulled on me but a real person that Aaron is actually going to marry.  If I may offer a suggestion, if he gets cranky, make him a mix-tape of Dashboard Confessionals and Death Cab for Cutie.  Sometimes that helps.  See you tomorrow.

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About Kevin

I am figuring out life and faith and taking other people along with me on my journey. Sometimes as fellow travelers, sometimes as hostages.
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