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Russell and Eric

My BF Eric Cohen! We met in 4th grade in a small rural/country town in northwest NJ! We were always at the back of the lines because we were both always the tallest. Some years he was the last guy and, some years, I was the last guy for being the tallest! Interesting how schools put us in smallest to tallest! Fast forward to our high school years when we began hanging out non-stop and we became best friends. We both continued to get taller at the same exact pace...6'1" entering our Sophomore year and then 6'4" by our senior year! Till this day it amazes me the similarities that our lives have had. The one big regret I have with Eric is that he was not a basketball player like I was, we sure could have used another 6'4" guy on our team We played baseball together our whole lives and through high school as well. I came to North Carolina to attend ECU and he went to Texas and attended the University of North Texas. One thing never changed though, we always always kept in touch as we were twin brothers that were from another mother. He was the Jewish kid from Brooklyn and I was the Italian Roman Catholic from the Bronx. It's crazy that were in NYC at the same times.

I would go with Eric to Temple and his Sunday school classes and sometimes he would even come with me to my church! Shortly after graduating in 5 years from college we both landed in Wilmington, NC to live together. We did so for a number of years and then we both got married and he eventually had to move away to Florida with family and his wife. We kept in touch literally every day and would visit each other through the years. We both had our first child (both girls) within one month from each other. Eric and his family came back to NC and Chapel Hill, NC about 9 years ago. He has 4 children with one boy, I have 3 with one boy. My 3 children are all the same age as his 3 children and same gender as well with his wildcard 4th child being in between my oldest and next.

Eric has been more than any guy friend could ever ask for. Eric has continually demonstrated an unwavering ability to always be my best friend. He is my "go-to person." Through divorce, financial times, family issues, career changes and really just LIFE in general, Eric has always been there for me. Words or time could not express my gratitude and thankfulness for Eric. His kids and wife LOVE me like I was their own uncle. We've had a friendship that has lasted 42 years. To this day we talk regularly, plan vacations together with family or our own guy trips. We alternate visits frequently to Chapel Hill and Wilmington and recently I helped his family buy a second home in the Wilmington Area last year so we can create more fun and memories. Our oldest daughters who are one month apart both attend UNCW now at 20 years old!

God has Blessed me in many ways and so today I express my gratitude to a friend who could not possibly be anymore than he his today! We both are health fitness nuts from afar and still enjoy the same music. We are happy just being the "family man" and we are instrumental and involved in all aspects of our family's lives. God took his hair away years ago just to keep us different enough to recognize.

I would like to honor your best buddy, John. by saying the Lord has touched you in ways many cannot. What MIke did for you is part of the "understanding" and Blessing of life's short, short, story to you. I am so humbled to even share a slither of my best friend with you as you honor Mike on this 8 year anniversary. You and Mike were "Me and Eric" for sure! Thank you and "finish the race" my dear friend!

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