As a man in his golden years, Walter Macfarlane may not remember many of the details from his time as a young boy—but what he does remember is becoming friends with Alan Robinson.
Just 15 months apart in age, Robinson and Macfarlane bonded while playing football and cribbage together in their island home of Oahu, Hawaii.
The two met in 6th grade and quickly became best friends.
“He was the partier, I never went to or did any partying in high school,” Macfarlane explained to khon2.com.
Even though they had some differences, the two young boys developed a friendship that was unshakably strong. They declared each other best friends and went about their lives sharing experiences together and supporting each other.
But what made their bond so special all comes back to family.
Growing up, Robinson was adopted, while Macfarlane grew up without really knowing his father. Their lack of certain family members is part of what drew them together in the first place.
“I had a younger brother that I lost when he was 19, so I never had nieces or nephews. I thought I’ll never know my birth mother,” Robinson said.
They never expected that their fate was even more closely entwined.
Macfarlane always wondered what had happened to his father, and so, later in his life, he went to work trying to track him down.
Using the internet and social media as his basic tools, he eventually made his way to family tree and ancestry websites, hoping that one of them would lead him to the answers he was looking for. When he typed in his information, he quickly got back some hits.
“So then we started digging into all the matches he started getting,” Macfarlane’s daughter, Cindy Macfarlane-Flores, said.
Something stood out about one of the names that came back from the ancestry site: robi737.
The match, which indicated similarities in DNA, made Macfarlane thinking of Robinson—for several reasons.
“As a nickname everybody called him Robi and he flew 737s for Aloha Airlines. He was a pilot,” Macfarlane-Flores went on to say.
After a little more research and a few phone calls, the truth was revealed.
Macfarlane and Robinson are brothers who share the same mother.
“It was an overwhelming experience, it’s still overwhelming. I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to get over this feeling,” Robinson shared.
After the two friends were revealed to be brothers, after 60 years of friendship, they reflected happily on how fate brought them together. Now they are eagerly looking to the future to create new memories together—as family.
“This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine having,” Robinson went on to say.