Behind the Cast: An Ode to “Family”


I grew up as a sort of only child even though I had two olders sisters. My sisters are quite a BIT older than me (yeah i was the accident SO DON’T WRITE THAT IN THE COMMENTS!), so I didn’t spend much time with them growing up until I was a teenager. And although we’re all kick ass and get along pretty kick ass (most of the time) now, and having all of us in the room is like having three mouth pieces like mine surrounding you (hell I know, I’m aware), I always wondered what it would be like to have a brother.

I had a couple friends in adolescence that were older than me. I wasn’t one for making younger friends generally. I considered my friend Stephen quite a bit like an older brother to me. I would be in some sort of trouble, or there would be a problem, and he would always pick me up and take me to the beach and we’d just walk back and forth along the shore line in the dark with some Timmies, and talk (no Stephen wasn’t gay SO DON’T WRITE THAT IN THE COMMENTS!). His carpeted floor was available, the side door in the garage at his parents place was always open, and his parents were very understanding of me not knocking cause they knew I was a sort of kid in need at the time. Great people. Although me and Stephen are more distant than we used to be, he still to this day is one of those people that make me believe in the concept of soul mates. Just outstanding human being.

I met my friend Ryan when I was living in Brisbane the second time, near and around over 4 years ago. We hit it off I guess a little more than I thought we would. Anyone who knows me knows that, despite my social personality, making solid friends is a concept that I’ve struggled with my entire life. The degree of emotional connection I need to feel comes so far and few between, that I still can’t grasp the concept of forcing a circle into a square, instead of just calling it a circle and being done with it. But Ryan was always around not that long after we met. Lunch, dinner, drinks, clubbing, SHOPPING, driving around the city for shits and giggles. I got to enjoy his company for the better part of a year, and then have to say goodbye. His decision to come over here though Summer 2008 was the best Summer of my life and quickly mi casa was his house, and my friends were his friends. I was frightened before he came over that he’d changed or I’d changed, which I guess is natural, but we fit into a nice little groove again and he ended up being the best and most rewarding house guest anyone could have asked for. I had my little brother back. He’s now generously offered to repay his gratitude by letting me stay at his place when I go over to Brisbane in December, and I couldn’t be more excited to spend 2 months with him again.

My biological family may have never involved a brother, but that doesn’t matter to me. I know some people struggle with the concept of family being only directly related to blood, but I’ve had a few times in my life where my friends had no choice but to take care of me a little, and me to them. That’s family. It’s the reason I only have these handful of friends at one time. So I can focus. Because when they need me or I need them, we’re here for each other. I know I could call up Stephen tomorrow and he would pick me up in his car with Timmies if I needed him to, or that my Booboo Ryan would share his broom closet if it was the only space he had in the world and I needed somewhere to lay my head.

I can wonder all I want what it would have been like to have a blood Brother, but I nearly have something better. Because I get to choose my brothers, and the rest of my extended family for that matter, and I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by a few gems that I wouldn’t pawn off for the world.

  • bruin

    your relationship with your closest friends could be more than anyone else’s blood brother relationship. dont wonder what it’s like b/c i believe you already obtained it : ) nice post….timmies!! lol

  • Faye Burgers

    You know, we don’t really get mooshie that often, but this is a really sweet article that I can only wish everyone who reads it has the same thing as our family. Maybe it’s the distance from our biological ones that brings us strays together… in any case I’d never thought, 10 years from now, we’d be bonded here like this.
    I heart Sunday night dinners with our ever evolving family!
    Ryan, the moral of this article is Come home to Canada where you belong.

  • Stephen

    I’m honoured to be your brother, and touched that you’ve said so here. We may be more distant because of time or geography, but we will never be distant in our being. We’ve got a connection that, unless it’s been experienced, people tend not to believe in, and I wish that feeling to everyone who is without it. Thanks, Nic 🙂

  • Ryan

    You know how to put things in perspective Nic. The friendship I have with you and all the friends you kindly let me steal for my own (it wasnt just for more facebook friends, I swear) is something I could never repay you for.

    Who woulda thunk after all this time, I still dont hate you? Being an aries and everything …

    That summer, was my life. My life is basically on pause until I get back there and Faye, I know it. I know its where I belong. I have a few looses ends that are taking some time to tie up here. But I know where I belong and who I belong with.

    I, like Stephen am honoured to be your brother, your boo and that skinny kid that has piercings you dont approve of. Im looking foward to this summer, so much so I cant even express how great its going to be to have you back around.