I write this today in sorrow, as I think about the loss of my only sibling, Jacob. I feel as though it is therapeutic and important to get this post “out of the way,” and to be honest with my fellow bloggers and followers, who may have gone through the same thing in their life.
Its so hard when someone you first meet asks you “do you have any siblings?” What do I say? Yes? No? I did? I dread that question so I usually get it out of the way as soon as possible, before they are “sorry” and before the wound is ripped open once again.
Jacob David was born on October 13, 1994 in a suburb of Detroit, Mi. I was nearly six years old and in kindergarten (my birthday falls late, I was slightly older than my peers). I vividly remember the day that my mom went to have “the baby,” my aunt came over to make me breakfast (cinnamon toast) and take me to school…I still remember waving at my parents through the window as they drove off to the hospital. I still remember watching Barney on the couch before going to school. I don’t remember if I was excited or dreading the arrival of my “sister” but I do recall thinking about it being on my mind all day long.
As far as I remember…my aunt and my Nana picked me up from school, and I remember waiting at the hospital for my mom to have my “little sister.” You must remember back then in 1994 the sonograms were not as clear as they are today and it was easy to mistake the gender of the growing baby, so as far as we knew the baby would be a girl, therefore, obviously, we referred to him as my little sister Alexandra Michele. From what I believe I remember is my aunt going up to the room to see my mother after she gave birth and coming down crying, or vice versa, who ever went up came down crying and the other was scared something was wrong-they were crying tears of joy due to the surprise that the baby was not only here, but because the baby was a boy, to be name Jacob David.
Jacob had a very rough life from the start. He was diagnosed with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome which is a rare congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. It is said that most baby girls born with this congenital abnormality are less likely to survive, and any babies that may survive do not live past birth or toddler years.
In Jacob’s his life he received three open heart surgeries, as well as a pacemaker by the time he was 11. However, I never thought of him as a “sick kid.” I just always thought of him as my annoying brother, that I couldn’t stand (sometimes) and someone I wanted to be around when the going got tough (most of the time). I cannot even describe to you what type of person Jake was…he seemed to ALWAYS have a smile on his face, he could ALWAYS make conversation no matter what situation he was in, he loved music so very much and was always into different genres, no one who ever met Jacob disliked him. He was an honest genuine person who could make anyone smile. Of course we all have our downfalls, but his were few and far between.
My brother and I became very close around 2010, when my boyfriend started truck driving and was on the road most of the time. I was still living at home during this time and had “broken up” with my best friend and really had no one in my life except my boyfriend. I found during this time my brother and I started hanging out more frequently and realizing that we had much more in common than I thought. You see, the age difference played a big role in us not being so close growing up due to the fact that I was almost six years old than he was and I didn’t feel like we had many common interest’s until he hit his teen age years.
We had a ritual that almost every weekend we would have “brother, sister day” when we would go to lunch at this rinky-dink restaurant and bar, get a pitcher of Sprite, share a pickle tray, have burgers, and drive to the next county over and go bum around town. It may not have been much, but it was “our thing” and I miss it dearly. We literally did this damn near every weekend for like two years, no joke. It was just our time spent together and we loved every minute of it, until the end when we got sick of each other and went home to our own rooms to decompress. I still go there as a therapeutic drive, where I can just clear my head, listen to music (very loud) and reminisce about the “old days.”
I don’t really want to speak of the day he passed because it is a huge blur and void in my life and heart that I just can’t bring myself to recall one more time…but he passed peacefully and very unexpectedly on June 8, 2013 in his sleep at home, he was 18 years old.
Words cannot express how much I miss my brother…after he passed I lost a part of my heart. He was truly my soulmate and I will miss him every day of my life until we meet again. When we passed I lost so much of myself, I’ve lived in a haze of anger and shock for the last almost five years. My subconscious did not allow me to believe or feel the loss of my brother, when everyone around me was devastated, I felt that I had to be strong. Its been just as of recently that I have allowed myself to feel the pain and move forward with my life. I don’t think that many people understand my grieving process which seems to be going in reverse for some reason. I am more emotional now than I have been in a very long time. Jake’s birthday is the worst day out of the year for me, because I go back to that morning I waved my mom and dad goodbye as they went to the hospital for him to be born, and knowing what the outcome of his life would be. I am growing older but he will always be 18 and it kills me.
I hate when people say “he is always with you” or “he’s looking down on you…” this is not what I want to hear. I think people say it because there really is nothing to say, so in my opinion, don’t say anything at all…its like saying “prayers for you and your family” when someone dies but you know damn well no prayers are coming your way and even if they did they wouldn’t help a fucking thing…
All in all I wanted to do this post in honor of my brother and to just speak out about him and how special he is to me. I hope he would be proud of me and the decisions I have made in the last (almost) 5 years that he’s been gone.
I love and miss you brother.