This was written as a response to a challenge on another site. The premise being that Victoria has asked Jarrod’s family and friends to write letters to him to remind him of who he is after the death of his wife Beth. Victoria’s hope is that the letters will help Jarrod heal.
The characters of the Big Valley, Jarrod and Audra belong to 4 Star Productions. Adam Cartwright belongs to David Dortort. I thank them for letting me borrow them. They are being returned only slightly worse for wear. No profit is being made except the enjoyment of these wonderful characters and if the above companies won’t make the episodes available to us on disc, we will make our own.
I received a troubling telegram. It seems I’m to look out for a letter from you announcing your marriage. The telegram informed of the death of your bride. Having had my betrothed killed by an enemy, I understand what you are going trough. I have not yet received the letter and will probably not read it when it arrives. I could not bear to read the good tidings when I know that you are already a widower.
We have known each other a good few years now, and when we meet, we like nothing better than to talk about our experiences in our respective colleges and our dreams of the future. Even though there are a few years between us, we have become what I consider fast friends. It grieves me to know that you are bereaved. That of all the people I know who deserve the love of a good woman; that you should find yourself in this position. I’m sure that you blame yourself. I know I blamed myself for not protecting my fiancée’.
You’ve always been more expressive with your emotions than I can allow myself to be. But in this sorrow, I believe you would hide your pain away and like me attempt to bury it in a place where you never have to deal with it again. From experience, I can tell you when you shut yourself off from your family, you not only prolong your pain, but also you increase your family’s. Burying the pain will only cause it to fester and to eat away at you from inside. You’ve mentioned that you wish Heath would share more for this very reason.
You, like me, are the oldest, and when your father died, you had to be the responsible one. Pa has always done what he could to make my life easier, but with the traveling across the country and the loosing of three wives, it was all he could do at times to take care of himself, let alone me. I was forced to grow up early and fast. I received a letter from Pa a few days ago and it seems you are not alone in grief. My youngest brother Joseph married and they were to have a baby in two months. However, raiders attacked the house while Joe was away. He returned to find the house a shouldering ruin and his wife and unborn child dead. That letter arrived only 3 days before the telegram from your sister Audra. They say that death comes in threes and I’m afraid now to open either letter or telegram.
But as I wrote to Joe, I write to you. Life goes on, the sun rises and sets, people are born and they die. God has a plan, and unfortunately we mortals are forced to endure things that we cannot comprehend the reason behind.
That you must be mad at the heavens and sore of heart goes without saying. I wish I could travel to be there with you, but I must needs go and attend my baby brother therefore; my train leaves in 30 minutes. You have 3 younger brothers who can and will help you, and let you lean on them as you need and will allow. You have a wonderful compassionate sister whose heart bleeds for you. You also have a loving mother who has been where you are. I entreat you -- let them help.
You may be the head of your family but the body of your family cannot be separated from you and will follow where you lead. They will lend aid and ear help you to heal. Make use of them, for that is why God gave them to you.
With the love of a brother for a brother of heart even though not of birth,
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