While home to the US this January, my little (in age only, as you can see) brother Matt and I headed down to Vegas to get away from the cold and snow of mid-winter Wisconsin. We hopped on a plane for his first time, one of many firsts for the trip. Neither of us being naturally lucky at the tables, or naturally coordinated on the dance floor, we tried to get out and see what else Vegas had to offer. For a couple of guys in their mid 20's...ok, one guy in his mid 20's and one in his late 20's... the answer is quite a lot.
For the past two years, Matt has been fighting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and to say he has faced it bravely and with determination is an understatement. Matt and I are the classic case of 'couldn't stand each other as kids but like each other as adults' with a twist. That twist being the change I have seen in Matt over the past couple of years. Though he is my 'little' brother, he has taught me what it means to stand firm in the face of insurmountable odds, to deal with the pain life throws at you without self-pity, and, what has surprised me the most, to place your fate in the hands of the Lord completely. He has moved from someone I 'had' to like because he was family, to someone I want to be friends with because of who he is as a person.
Vegas has a history of having a 'forgetful' nature about it. This trip, however, was not about forgetting what happened there, but about forgetting, for that week, what came before it. Though Matt wasn't initially excited to have a camera thrust into his face (My fiancée Eliza can attest to that pleasant way of spending a vacation), he warmed up eventually, and now neither one of us will forget.
I'm looking forward to the next installment of 'Matt & Eric' versus. I'm thinking international, and I'm sure he'd agree with me.