I’m an adult, I’ll finally admit this. But, when Blake is upset I curl up in the fetal position and cry because he is sad. I can’t explain how my little brother’s emotions become my own, but when he hurts I hurt. It begins with sharing, which is not something he does easily so I know he trusts me. His speak of Jeffrey, our deceased brother….his hero, is unique in the sense that he rarely speaks of him at all so when he begins I listen with all my soul. The thing about Jeffrey was that he was ‘the man of the house’ and he took Blake under his wing like his very own son. Blake was, with all intents and purposes, his.
I can not describe the difficulty of telling Blake, that very tumultuous day, that his hero was missing, gone, vanished, and I had no explanation at the time. Seven year-old’s are smart, whether you credit them or not, and in an already confusing situation a seven year-old can question a lot. A simple “He’s missing” doesn’t bode well, so heading into life and death territory may seem like a mature topic. But, these were not usual circumstances and eventually it had to be done.
Blake was forced out of childhood into topics even adults shouldn’t have to endure. He held his mother’s hand as she laid paralyzed with grief in bed, begging God to take her instead of her dear son, Jeffrey. He braved through morbid conversations that no seven-year old should be privy to. Blake held my heavy head as I cried my eyes out into his shirt for Jeffrey to be alive. He just assumed the responsibility, but I should have assumed more of the role than I allowed him to take on. After all, I was the oldest.
There’s a connection between he and I. Without Jeffrey, I have overcompensated to fill that void. On occasions, like tonight, Blake confides in me his pain. How he wished Jeffrey could have stuck around, but I remind him how special he was to Jeffrey. As a matter of fact, Jeffrey was the only person that promised mom he would take care of Blake when she found out she was pregnant. I know if he just pays attention, he’ll find Jeffrey is just a few step ahead of him. Luckily, I’m their big sister so I’ve got it covered, but there will never be enough coverage for a fallen hero.
I love you, Blake Allen Miller, and more than anything I hope you know that Jeffrey loved you more than anyone else in this world. You were/are his soulmate. XOXO.