Declared Missing, Andrew’s Case Closed as “Unresolved”.
While Jon was growing up, he occasionally received unmarked pieces of mail. He wrote, “My freshman year of college, I was part of a sports team that got national recognition. I remember my team’s picture was on ESPN and with our university’s name. A few days later, I got mail at my dorm. It was a gift basket. I thought it was from my parents, so I didn’t read the card. I threw it away immediately and ate what was in it, but it was nothing but candy. I called my dad and thanked him for the gift basket and he said he didn’t send one, neither did mom.
“Then I got to thinking: all of those candies were what I used to eat as a kid. Literally all I ate for the earliest years of my life were those candies. I tried to find the card, but I couldn’t. Then I began to think about how my brother would wheel me in the wagon to the gas station close to our house so I could get candy after dinner, even though it was a punishable-by-death ‘no-no’ from mom.
“Months later, during Christmas, I got an unmarked Christmas card. The only thing written on it was a 🙂 smiley. Since then, I’ve heard nothing. No one I know sent that card. I have never responded.”
Shocking News From His Parents
“[My] mom told me my brother is alive and okay (‘as far as she knows’). They found my brother years ago–a very, very long time ago–and found out he was living with another man. He’s gay, and it disgusted my parents. He tried reaching out to them. They told him they didn’t want anything to do with him and that I didn’t remember him and wouldn’t want to see him. I went ballistic. My parents weren’t fazed by it. They sincerely hate my brother for who he is–for being gay. They kept him a secret from me all my f***ing life. My brother missed the birth of his nephew, he missed my wedding, graduations, EVERYTHING. just because of my parents. they lied to me.”
Jon eventually got Andrew’s contact information but it took him a couple days to gather enough courage to reach out to him. “[My wife] told me to call the number I was given for my brother immediately. She insisted on it. She took herself and my son out for a day together so I could be alone to talk with him.”
Finding the Courage
“About an hour of pacing and drinking two glasses of scotch at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, I called the number again.
“It rang three times. I panicked. I hung up. But this time, the number was calling me back. I swear to whatever God(s) above, I thought my heart was going to stop. I almost threw up right there. I answered the call. ‘Who is this?’ It was his voice. I knew that voice. It was my f***ing brother. He asked me who I was and what I wanted. I said, ‘It’s me.’ There was a really long pause. I thought the call had dropped and then he asked me my name. I told him and he said that I was lying. He asked me what color shoelaces he wore to a picnic when we were kids, and I remember my mom getting mad at his orange laces with blue shoes. It was the last time we were together as a family.
“I could tell he was crying. The first thing he asked me was: ‘Where are you?’ and I told him I lived a few hours away from home. Without hesitating, he told me, ‘I’m coming.’