It's odd to know somebody without ever getting to meet them. What I mean to say is, it's a strange feeling to know somebody in part, to grow up with them, to have them grow up on you, to know intimate little details about them and yet be unable to visualise their faces, or know how they stress their sentences, or the real details about them.
I know a little girl, growing up with the passage of time, and I know what she feels like, and what her smile is like. It breaks me up to be aware that I wouldn't recognise her on the road.
But I remind myself of the boy I grew up with and never met and whom I did find eventually -- although he too passed me repeatedly before I recognised him -- and I try to regain my natural optimism.