He had a place at our table for holidays, famjams and even not so special occasions. He was not married; he didn't have children of his own; and if he had someone special in his life, we never met them. And apart from his beloved dog and cats, and his lovely little mother, we were his adopted family - one of several. His friends were his chosen family.
He tagged along on family vacations. He had a way of being there without taking up space. He blended seamlessly into the tapestry of our family life, celebrating milestones and sharing the painful times. He was a listening ear for my mother, a loyal friend to my father and a kind and generous person to everyone he met. He was the first to volunteer - for anything - and filled in the gaps with his quiet, unassuming demeanor.
And last Sunday, after church, he died suddenly. And as my father put it so succinctly, another door closed.
He will be missed.