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Florence Living

home : opinions : opinions August 27, 2015

5/20/2014 10:40:00 AM
My 'brother' friend Billy
Robert Baxley
Guest Columnist

Recently a friend of mine had read my article about my brother and my uncle. He made a comment that brothers went beyond blood and DNA, but that it was also about all of the people in our lives that affect us in special ways. It occurred to me that, in a sense, we’re all brothers and sisters because ultimately we all come from the same origins. Let me tell you about Billy.
A recent post by a dear friend has prompted my thoughts and memories of one of my best friends in life, her brother, Billy. Billy and I met when we were about four or five years old. You see, we grew up in the same neighborhood.
There were others of our age and they were (and are) our friends, but me and Billy... well, we were best friends. Sometimes people would call me Billy and him Bobby; we were just the best of friends.
I always called him by his last name and he always called me by my last name. There are four children in his family; he has one brother and two sisters. All of them are some of the most talented people I’ve ever encountered. Their parents were as if my own parents because that’s the way we grew up back then. Billy played the bass. He could put a half dozen albums on the turntable and play bass through all of them (in our teens then).
He’s been in numerous bands and he still plays music to this day. He’s also always been somewhat of a rebel. I’ve never really had my own mind. I can follow and I can imitate and I can emulate, but I’ve never been particularly original. Billy is an original. I always followed his lead, sometimes to my detriment, but that’s O.K.; he’s a free thinker and always has been.
The memories are good. I love the entire family, but Billy will always be one of my favorite people in the world. In a lot of ways, he taught me to be me. And he was never and still isn’t “another brick in the wall”. Expand your concept of “family.” It goes well beyond your immediate family, but extends to so many other people. Cherish those relationships.

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