I never knew you.
Hello, my brother. I believe this letter has been a long time coming for me, but I guess I never really knew how to start or complete it. Seems fitting. I never really knew how to talk to you in life, now it seems to be the same in death. Makes me wonder what it will be like in the afterlife.
Your death came to me out of nowhere, just as all the rest did. I heard the news when I was a little way into my Freshman year at JMU. Aunt Wendy told me. Said they thought you had a seizure and it proved fatal. I never found out if this was actually true.
I found out you were dead over a text message.
I never really knew what our relationship was, Lee. I have memories of you, me, and Kristen when we were younger and having pillow fights. I have another picture from my first Christmas in 1996. In this picture, all three of us are there. We also have family photos from other Christmases. I don't have any copies.
We were always the opposite sons. You always were in trouble, making trouble, and making bad decisions. So many that they made the good parts of you float away into oblivion, becoming nothing more than a far-off memory to those that knew you. But deep down, I know that there was some good in you.
I remember your fights with Dad and Grandpa. I remember when you stole. I remember at least parts of all the drama you caused over the years. Drugs. Broken relationships. Stealing. God knows what else.
Perhaps the best memory I have of you… is when you taught me how to play guitar.
We only had one lesson. Was supposed to be more. You taught me the pentatonic scale. This was the start of it. You were a great, young guitarist, and self-taught nonetheless. Sadly, though, I don't think you stuck to it.
At Dad's funeral, we hugged. You said that you wished we knew each other better. I said we should exchange numbers before leaving. You left before we could.
We saw each other a few times after that over the years. We never spoke, not really. Dad always told me to never really be affiliated with you, as sad as that is. But, he did love you. He loved all of us.
Then. You were gone.
A lot of us tried to fix you, Lee, but the only one who could have fixed you… was you. And really… I think Kristen was the only one who actually knew how to communicate with you.
I wish I did.
I am not sure where you are or if I will ever see you again beyond this life. But regardless, I do want you to know this… I do love you, "Little" Lee.
You're my brother. And I will always love you.