I met Andy just as I had met many before him, on a tour of EBC. Shortly after meeting him on that tour, I accepted him into the school. Nothing about the story so far is unique. He is a typical student. The story develops into a friendship one day after orientation when I moved. I invited some students to help and Andy showed up. That day he, along with other students helped me move into a new place. However, Andy ended up helping me measure my new room (using his arms) to figure out where all of my furniture would go. I was so excited to have him help me in that way as it was a pretty stressful day.

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After that, our houses would hang out every now and again, but I always appreciated how he helped me that moving day. In January of his first year, he moved to a different house of guys and this is where the story gets more exciting. My future husband lived at the house that Andy moved into, and that is where Andy gets woven into the story of how my husband and I feel in love and started dating.

After a rough day, Ryan and I were talking and I mentioned that I missed watching American Idol. He mentioned that they had it DVR’d at their house and that I could come over and watch it. I told him that I wasn’t the type of girl that went to guys houses, but he told me that I could. I started going over to the guys house every Saturday. For the first week or two I watched American Idol by myself. Then, Andy joined me. We would watch Haley, Casey, James, Pia, Scotty and Lauren together and discuss their performances. Ryan joined us after another couple of weeks. Because Andy was always there, I never felt weird around Ryan. We became friends without any weirdness because Andy was there.   Andy knew that Ryan and I liked each other and he was secretly hoping we both knew it too. Ryan and I took Andy to lunch before he left for camp over the summer and told him that we were dating. He was excited for us and I knew that I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Ryan had Andy not been there. I would have been too weird and too freaked out to talk normally to Ryan, but I was comfortable because Andy was there. He will forever be a part of our story and I am so grateful.

Flash forward a few months, Ryan and I got married (Andy caught the garter at our wedding) and we asked Andy if he would want to live with us the next Fall. He moved in at the end of August. I would make meals and we would all eat together, watch Survivor together and hang out around the house. He was the perfect roommate for us. We all got along great and liked being around each other.

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He was one of the first people to know that I was pregnant. We told him just after we found out and he kept our secret for months. He watched me grow bigger and bigger over the first year living with us.   He was excited to meet our boy.

Andy left for the summer just before our son was born. He finally got to meet him in August when he returned to move in with a three month old and his tired parents. He immediately became Uncle Andy to our son.

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Our son lights up when he sees Andy. He loves to play hide and seek with him and to try to get into his room to hang out with his cool Uncle Andy. Andy has loved him well and has loved Ryan and I well as we transitioned to be parents.

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This last week Andy finished his education at Eternity Bible College. He is moving back to Wisconsin to do exactly what God wants him to do. As much as my head knows this, my heart is breaking to lose someone who has been such a big part of my life and such a good and faithful friend to my husband, my son and me. Every day my son lights up when he sees Andy and it hurts my heart knowing that in a day he won’t have that joy of seeing Andy everyday. He is young and he may forget Andy, but I know that Ryan and I never will. We do hope that he comes back and visits and tells us of all that the Lord has done in His life. We hope that he will visit us often and Jack will always know his amazing Uncle Andy.

It makes heaven so much sweeter knowing that we don’t have to say goodbye anymore there.

Andy, thank you. I am so grateful for how you have ministered to my family and me. I am so grateful for all the ways that you help, listen, encourage and love us. I am grateful that you have given us so much of yourself and that you have celebrated so many important moments in our lives so far. I am grateful for how you have been such a good friend to me for the past four years. I am forever grateful that the Lord had us cross paths. I praise Him for you. Thank you for how you have loved us. We will miss you so much. Please come back and visit, or better yet, move back in with us in August. No matter where the Lord takes you, remember that you will always have family in California. We love you.