Jeremy (more commonly known to me as “JJ” or “J-Worm”) is my big cousin, but growing up alongside him he has felt like so much more than that.
When I think about my absolute best memories throughout my life, the times where I have felt pure joy, and the times where I have felt like my truest self, Jeremy is oftentimes at the center of those memories. He creates joy and builds community wherever he goes.
Creating Joy: When my brother and I would spend summer weekends at Grandma and Grandpa’s house with Jeremy and his two brothers, Tommy and Jack, Jeremy was always the “ring leader” of the group. From directing us in music videos and fashion shows, to making up creative games for all of us to play, we always looked to JJ for what we should do next. He always had something up his sleeve, and it would always end with the five of us rolling on the ground in laughter and pure joy. Jeremy took it upon himself to look after us four, and make sure we were experiencing joy…even when he was just 10 years old!
Building Community: Wherever Jeremy goes, community follows. He knows exactly how to bring people together, whether it’s by sharing his amazing musical talents, or simply welcoming anyone and everyone to join him for any type of festivity he has in mind (concerts, sporting events, random weekends in Fargo or Minneapolis, cabin weekends, parades, etc.). Over the years, Jeremy’s friends have become my friends, and my friends have become his. He is so welcoming and inviting, and he is surrounded by the most amazing people, which is a testament to the kind of person he is. People flock to Jeremy, because he has the unique ability to make every single person he encounters feel heard, seen, loved, and welcome. He loves people for exactly who they are.
Jeremy is simply the best person I’ve ever met. I have looked up to him since the day I was born, and I will continue to admire him for all the days to come.
As I’ve gotten to know Andrew over the past 10 years, it is clear why these two ended up together. If you take all of Jeremy’s best qualities, Andrew matches them. He creates joy, he brings people together, he loves deeply, he listens, he cares, and I would trust both of them with my life. Jeremy and Andrew are both protective and loving big brothers, who are fiercely loyal to each other and to their families and friends. These two were made for each other, and they truly make everyone around them better. The world is brighter with Jeremy and Andrew in it, and I cannot wait to watch them embark on this next big adventure: parenthood!
To Jeremy and Andrew’s future children: I cannot wait to see how J&A create joy for you. I cannot wait to watch how deeply you will feel their love, how they will create and foster community around you and for you. I cannot wait to see how intently J&A listen to your wants and needs, so you can grow up to be exactly who you want to be. I cannot wait for you to see how amazing your dads truly are. You are the luckiest kid in the world, to have Jeremy and Andrew loving you, protecting you, and leading by example. I can’t wait to watch you grow up and become amazing people, just like Jeremy and Andrew.