http://youtu.be/zfbo8oWBEek (At 11:51 mark Jack Swan delivers his eulogy for his brother Drew)
I am honored to stand up here and speak on behalf of my favorite person in the whole world, my favorite brother, my only brother, Drew Swan. The word "brother" doesn't fit the bill as far as Drew goes though, he was my rock. He was my mother at times, my father at times, my best friend and brother always. He was one heck of an "amaze balls" package, as Drew would put it. He always encouraged me in everything I did, and felt he needed to tell me how proud of me he was every time we talked. Today I want to share with you all what a blast it was having Drew Swan as a brother.
When I first entered into this world I am told that Drew marveled over me in my crib, as if willing me to grow up and play with him. He finally had his first friend, little did he know that he would have all of you attending his funeral 23 years later. From that point on he would wake up every morning and say "Where's Jack?" and I was always there to answer his call. I wanted to do everything with my big brother, I looked up to him all the way till his last day here on earth. He was always my number one person, and he loved me more in my 23 years than I could have ever imagined being loved in a lifetime.
Growing up we opened a restaurant called "Johnny's". Drew was the cook, and I was the server. We spent all of our profits on food to keep the restaurant alive. Drew would always get frustrated with me for allowing our "customers" (our family) any leniency on paying the full amount for their food. "Jack, this cooking I'm doing isn't free ya know! We need that money for more food, or we'll have to take our buffalo chicken wings off the menu!" I would just laugh at him, because all of it was so real to him, in his mind he was truly running a business at the young age of 10, and I was happy to help him keep that dream alive in whatever way I could. We finally had to shut Johnny's down a year later, but our dreams for our future together lived on.
When Drew found out I was studying to become a doctor he actually bought an Organic Chemistry book and began trying to learn it by himself. He reasoned, "No problem, we'll open a practice together and both be doctors." I believed him entirely, I knew he could do whatever he set his mind to. He always had a knack for finding out random facts about everything which I'm sure many of you were surprised by during your conversations with him. In one of our more recent conversations Drew was telling me about one of the tables he was serving at California Pizza Kitchen down in Fort Lauderdale. The table was amazed that Drew was able to straighten them out on the difference between Silicon the element and Silicone the implant, "Are you a biochemistry major or something?" they asked, to which he replied, "No, I'm just a nerd." Armed with his smart phone and thirst for knowledge Drew became pretty well read on just about every topic he could find on Wikipedia, and when he didn't know something he took it upon himself to find out and get back to the person who had approached him with the question in the first place. Whether the question was "What country was the Lord of the Rings filmed in?", "How many species of birds are found on the Galapagos Islands?", or "What are the exact steps in solving a Rubix Cube?"- Drew had the answer. For those of you who stayed close with Drew these last few years, you probably knew that he loved his Rubix Cube. He learned how to solve a Rubix Cube in two days and it became his favorite toy. He was such a nerd, always conquering the most pointless challenges and repeating them over and over. I would always follow suit in learning the same things he did though, because I always wanted to do what Drew was doing. Finding small ways to stay close to each other, like me learning how to solve a Rubix Cube, or sitting down to listen to him play the piano, was our way of saying to each other, "I love you for who you are, for all that you are."
Drew had a way of making people feel very special, especially me. My brother would personally thank almost every friend of mine that he met for being a good friend to me, and he meant it! He even thanked my girlfriend, Leslie, for being so good to me. He said that I deserved to be treated that way, that I was a great guy. That's just how he was as a brother, always bragging about me (even in front of me), including me in things, defending me, comforting me when no one else would, and telling me how proud he was of me. Barely a conversation went by where Drew wouldn't tell me how proud he was to be my brother, and I felt the same exact way about him. I've never shared Drew's love for the spotlight, but he would always find a way to make me the topic of conversation somehow. He had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met. He got that from my mother, a true saint with a massive heart for everyone she meets. That's exactly how Drew was. I saw it when he was interacting with all of you too. He always wanted people to feel special, and I know you guys probably felt very special just to be in his presence. I did. His specialness radiated through his every word, his every mannerism, his every Drewism as they shall now be called.
When we were growing up Drew and I invented something my Dad touched on earlier called "Brotherly Love." Whenever one of us said the words "brotherly love" followed by a request we swore to always honor it. It was a code of brotherhood that neither of us ever broke. Drew was good about it, only using it in times of desperation to let me know how much he needed something, or needed me. I on the other hand abused the heck out of it at first, until I realized there was no way this kid wasn't going to honor the code we had made as young boys. One time I said to Drew lazily from the couch, "Will you please make me a milkshake, brotherly love?" Drew hopped up from the couch, opened up the freezer, and blended me the best chocolate milkshake I've ever had, no questions asked. Years later I used those same words "brotherly love" to ask my brother to put himself into rehab when he was struggling with his greatest battle, addiction. After he refused to acknowledge all other's worries, he still answered to our code of brotherly love that day. He opened his arms, gave me a big hug and said "Ok Jack, you know I would never say no, I love you, everything's going to be alright." That last act of unfaltering love he showed me that day, as a brother and a friend, was the greatest gift Drew has ever given me, more time. He was the strongest I'd ever seen him over the next year. His relationships grew, his impact was more powerful, and his closeness with Christ was beautiful. I will forever rest in knowing I had the best brother in the entire world, and he's with his heavenly father watching over me as I speak these words to you today, smiling, proud of me. I'll miss him so much, but I know he'd want me share with you all just how special our bond was, and for that I have you all to thank.
Now let's fast forward to the best man speech that will be shown at my wedding and hear from this incredible brother of mine. I know he would have loved to have been there. He is my greatest gift, my rock, my number one, Drew Swan. http://youtu.be/fhzL25WrKOc