Among these close ties, I have two biological brothers, an adjunct brother, an adjunct brother and sister-in-law, and a pseudo sister. I refer to Margaret as my pseudo sister as she and I were raised pretty much next door to one another and are close as I imagine I would be had I a biological sister. You've met Margaret.
Joe (3), aka Jody, was brother Jay's best friend growing up and was annexed by the Hardcastles in high school around the time his parents were divorcing. I could not love Joe more if he were my own blood. It was Joe who, being too close to Dad to call him Mister Hardcastle and too respectful to call him John, coined the appellation Papa John—the name of reverence and affection my father carried proudly and too soon unto the grave. Joe now lives in Birmingham with his family.
Also brought into the fold was T. Hartley (4) whose father was our pastor growing up and one of Dad's closest friends. Hartley married Carolyn, and through much effort produced Grace. With their parents absent, Mom and Dad became the "Designated Parents" and when Grace came along, Papa John and Franna joyfully became doting grandparents to one more.
This week two of my acquired siblings have lost their fathers too, and I would like to pay my respects:
Joseph Hiram Calvin, Jr.
From the Birmingham News/AL.com:
Al Griffin, Jr.
From the Atlanta Journal Constitution: