My younger brother quit the family pretty much when he was 16. That's when he left all the jw crap behind. Boy, I wish I had turned and left with him! Over the years I've seen him on and off. There have been stretches where I haven't seen or heard from him for years at a time. The last time I saw him face to face was in 1999.
So about a year ago he sought me out on facebook and we connected again. Previously he had told me one of the last times I talked to him on the phone that I'd have to be happy re-living my memories of him because I'd probably never hear from him again. That made me sad. I was still a jw at the time.
Now, after finding out that I have left the jws, he has become my best friend. We are very close now, and that makes me happy.
I used to be cut to the quick about my parents disowning me and all, but I have gained a lot of family since leaving the jws. Family that previously I never liked, or even really knew. Now me and that family have grown very close, celebrating Birthdays, Christmas, and LIFE together. I have lost a lot leaving the jws, but I've gained so much more...