My Eulogy for My Brother December 23rd 2007

I don't need to tell anyone in this room why my brother was one of the most amazing people you could have met. You could have met my brother for thirty seconds and known that this…this was somebody special. Even less you could have never met my brother and have seen at the funeral home or even here today how many people in his short twenty-two years he had touched, not in a fleeting fashion, but in a deeply profound life altering way. Each of us has our own story of Andy. Each of us has a moment to cling to that was most characteristically Andrew. And the beautiful part about it is, they're all different. They're all different because Andy was everything. Whether it was his compassion toward anyone who'd needed it or his incredible strength and relentlessness; his patience or his obstinance, his unabashed laughter or his soothing words, his wisdom or his somewhat silly boyish fun, the pranks, the impressions, the slogans. I know this entire week he's been telling me "Eassssy cheetah….eaaaasy." He was one of each at any given time, he was it all, how else could a 22 year old kid have over a dozen nicknames? But there's one thing that he had in common with all of us whether it was his best friend of ten years or the homeless woman on the street…he loved us all, with his whole heart for EXACTLY who we were at EXACTLY the moment he knew us. He took us flaws and imperfections and all and loved us not despite our flaws but loved the flaws just as much. All he wanted for us was to be happy. Each of us has a journey we're in the middle of, each of our lives are in various stages and all Andrew wanted for us was to be happy. I felt a lot of us in the same space in that room last night. A lot of us knowing what we want in life but not quite knowing how to get there. Or thinking, "It's okay I'll figure it out later I have time." I remember talking at length with Andy about how I had practically put my life in a holding pattern for the next three years and he kept begging me, forget about it Keek, find the simple things in life that make you happy and do those things. It's not about money or where you live or what car you drive, it's about the little things that make you happy. ..:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

I don't need to point out the irony of it being Christmas. Christmas being the birthday of Jesus, God's only son that he sacrificed for all of us. Andrew gave all of himself in life, sometimes helping us more than we were capable of helping ourselves, and in his death I feel like he is sacrificing himself to bring to us the gift of life. My brother's amazing girlfriend Lisa was at our house yesterday morning as we watched videos of my brother and I as children. She commented, "You guys are so boring! There's no fighting or hitting, you're just playing." That's how we were, you could spend every single second of a day with my brother and wake up eager for more. His laughter was infectious and his spirit could fill the darkest of rooms with blinding light. How could you fight with that? But I'll tell you, we had the first fight in a long time in the hospital on Saturday. Right after the doctors told us that they were pretty sure he wouldn't make it I marched into his room and said, "Okay I hear you! I HEAR YOU YELLING AT ME!!!! I know you just want me to live and stop thinking about it and stop analyzing and stop hurting and just get out there and live the way you did! But you don't have to do THIS for me to LIVE! I would have gotten it eventually!" I was always so amazed that I had a two year start on him and it seemed that he'd packed double the living into his life than I had. Some of it I think was the Seinfeldesque polyphasic sleep patterns. Kramer one episode explained: "Well, turns out that the master [Leonardo da Vinci] slept only twenty minutes every three hours. Now, that works out to two and a half extra days that I'm awake per week, every week, which means if I live to be eighty, I will have lived the equivalent of a hundred and five years."

"Just imagine how much more you'll accomplish."Jerry says.

"Oh, I've got a lot of things in the hopper, buddy."says Kramer.

Andy was the definition of work hard play hard. He would go out with you boys and cause mayhem and play as hard as he could with nights full of gut laughter. And after two and a half three hours sleep he'd get up and leave you all sprawled out on the couches three sheets to the wind to go move machinery, paint houses, run errands for my parents, and in his spare time save the world. And that's exactly what he did, saved each and every one of us in a unique special way. As impossible as this leg of our journey together feels we will make it through in exactly the way he taught us…balance. We will fall down and we will ache like no other ache we have known, and we'll all pick each other back up and fill our lives with the simple pleasures…the laughter…the love…and we'll make it through. Because that's what he wants us to do.

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