Enter my life-long friend and former roommate, Brandon French and his lovely girlfriend Stephanie Chow. Casey and I let multiple friends and co-workers know that we were going to be in Chicago for a short period of time and of course many people have busy schedules, work to attend, social lifes, families etc. and sadly were not able to see us. However, I can always count on Brandon to drop everything and meet us in a heart-beat, hence why he's a life-long friend. Life is to short to dwell on materialistic items and schedules that don't mean anything. Brandon is one of those true gems that realizes family and friendships are far more important than your favorite TV show you're going to miss.
Brandon, whom works as a CPA and has an extremely busy schedule, took time out of his day to meet up with Casey and I at Goose Island located on the North Side of Chicago. The food was surprisingly amazing and served with generous portions. This wasn't the first time Brandon sacrificed his work day or sleep schedule to meet up with me or a family member of mine. In fact, when we were roommates and my brother came into Chicago from Tarime, Tanzania, Africa, Brandon stayed out until the wee hours on a week-night just to hang with his childhood friends (my brother and myself).
Brandon has been there through the good times and the bad with our family. Literally growing up about three houses down from each other, we've been through it all. Similar families (almost identical), houses with a replicated layout, we've went from securing hedgeapples under school buses waiting to catch our ride to elementary, to mourning a loss in our family, to living together and watching each other find the loves of our lives. Brandon is the twin brother I've been mistaken to have all those years (many people have mistaken or thought Nathan and I were twins despite our age difference).
I may have one "biological" brother, but Brandon French is my second brother and a life-long friend that I cherish.
Grow to appreciate these very special people in your life as they are few and far between. Casey is also lucky enough to have a great friend in Joe Ryan who also met up with us at Goose Island although his schedule was pretty jammed for the night.
We were just so utterly thankful to meet with our closest friends and felt so very blessed to have these special individuals in our lives.
Thank you B, Stephanie and Joe!