My family and I have just returned from Arizona, where we attended the wedding of my Little Brother Dylan and his bride Melissa.

My Little Brother is All Grown Up & Married

Dylan and Melissa's wedding, held at the base of the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, Arizona, was one of the nicest ceremonies I have ever attended. An afternoon thunderstorm passed just in time for the couple to have their dream wedding outside at the mountainside.

Many of Dylan and Melissa's friends and family made the trip to the destination wedding from Connecticut where the couple live and work.

Melissa and Dylan read their deeply personal vows to one another during the ceremony and spoke about why they loved each other. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget.

A Little History About Dylan and Me

When I took a job at a radio station in Hartford, CT in 1999, I arrived all by myself in a new city where I knew no one. I decided to volunteer as a mentor in the Big Brother Big Sisters of America program and I was assigned 9-year-old Dylan as my "Little".

Dylan was the only son of Tracy, a single mom who was determined to give her boy every opportunity a mother in her situation could. She understood that young Dylan needed the guidance of a man in his life and she was counting on me to provide some positive influence.

Once or twice a week, I would get together with Dylan and play sports, roller skate, or go to the laser tag place, Dylan's favorite. Sometimes Dylan would just come over to my apartment and hang out and we would talk and spend time together.

I realized that the time I spent with Dylan had just as big an impact on me as it did on Dylan. He was a great kid.

After a couple of years, I moved to South Jersey with my fiance Beth to work at a new radio job and start our lives together.

My visits with Dylan continued, though. Over the next couple of summers, Dylan took the train down and stayed with us for a week at the Shore.

When we got married in 2003, Dylan served as a groomsman at my wedding.

Fast Forward to 2023

As the years went by and Dylan reached high school age, we didn't spend as much time together anymore. Dylan was older and had new interests. I became a father to twin girls, Eileen and Bridget, and those early years were a very busy time.

But we talked occasionally on the phone. Dylan even became a Big Brother himself when he got older and called me to ask for advice. That moment made me very proud of him.

Then last summer, Dylan called to say he wanted to visit with his fiance, Melissa.

They spent the weekend at our house and we had a wonderful time. While they were here, Dylan and Melissa invited my family to attend their wedding in Arizona and we gladly accepted.

The Wedding Weekend

Spending time with Dylan and Mellissa and their friends and family at their Arizona wedding gave me time to see what a fine man Dylan has become.

He's smart, sensitive, funny, and really plugged into the world. And, he's also taller than me. How did that happen?

It's obvious that Dylan is very in love with Melissa and she is with him. That makes me very happy.

He pointed out that we have now come full circle. He had attended my wedding 20 years ago and now I was there to watch his big wedding moment. I wouldn't have missed it.

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