A Leap of Faith?
It doesn't take a sentinel to see that Blair is having a hard time coming to terms with the contents of Naomi's letter and, not for the first time, I find myself yearning to strangle the woman. I mean, I'm glad Sandburg's finally found the answers he was looking for, I'm glad she finally did the right thing and told him like she should have done decades ago but the fact remains that her technique was all but criminal... as usual.
She couldn't be bothered to call him, she couldn't be bothered to come, she couldn't even be bothered with making the effort to put an envelope inside another to give her son some sort of warning as to what it was that he was going to find in that letter... and the contents of that letter were not such that Blair was likely to come to terms with them without being hurt in the process. In the span of a couple of paragraphs she told him that his father was a married man, that his father was dead and that he had an older brother... well, half-brother. At least she made no excuses for her actions, though I wonder whether that was due to her finally taking responsibility for them or if it was merely due to the fact that to this day she is still not even aware of their implications.
The thing is that right now my guide is stuck debating with himself over whether or not he should try and contact his brother and it doesn't look like he is going to be coming to anything remotely resembling a decision any time soon.
I can understand his dilemma, he explained it to me and in a way it makes perfect sense. Thanks to the little bombshell Naomi dropped on his lap he has no choice but to make what is likely to be a life-altering decision on behalf of a total stranger and that is not something to be taken lightly. He has to decide whether he wants to contact his brother or not, whether or not he should even tell his brother of his existence. I know he wants to do it, I can see it in his eyes but in typical Blair fashion --not Sandburg, after all Naomi is also a Sandburg-- he is trying to put his brother first. He is trying to imagine what his brother would want under the circumstances and going by the contents of Naomi's letter that decision is made even more complicated by how little Blair knows about the man. He has a name and he knows when and how his parents died but that is about it.
What he does know, however, is another thing that is bound to play a role in his decision. According to the letter it wasn't just Blair's father that was lost in that accident, the accident also claimed his wife's life and that has only made matters worse. That means that his brother was orphaned at a fairly early age and as a result he is likely to have an idealized view of his parents... and now Sandburg has to decide whether the possibility of getting a brother is something the man would choose over those illusions.
I can understand my partner's concerns. It is not an easy decision no matter how you look at it. While on the one hand I suspect the man would probably be delighted to have a family, on the other I can understand Sandburg's concerns about the fact that the revelation of just how Blair came to be is one that is unlikely to sit well with him.
I've spent hours acting as a sounding board, listening to my partner as he goes over the pros and cons of either approach but I don't think he is any closer to coming to a decision. The thing is that so far I've heard him rationalize the situation but I don't think he is seeing all his options, not right now. In a way he is thinking more like an anthropologist than like a detective and that is needlessly narrowing down his choices.
He is going by what he knows and what he knows is nowhere near enough for him to reach a decision, that much is obvious. As far as I can tell the problem is that he is going by the information that Naomi has provided him with, by what Naomi has told him about a three-year-old child and that is of no use when dealing with the man that child has become. Seeing him at a loss, I finally decide to make a suggestion of my own. I tell him that maybe he should approach this thing from another angle, that rather than trying to figure out what his brother would want in such a vacuum maybe he should try to learn more about his brother before he makes his decision.
His brother is no longer the three-year-old described by Naomi in her letter. He is a grown man who is bound to have a life of his own... a life that may very well hold the key as to whether Blair should try and contact him or if he should leave well enough alone. Based on that it should be possible for Blair to set some sort of parameters, some guidelines on which he can base his decision. Maybe something like if his brother has a family, if he was adopted and was able to rebuild his life in the aftermath of his parents' deaths, then maybe it would be best for Blair not to disrupt that but if he is alone then it may be a good idea for Blair to approach him. Maybe Blair could look into what kind of life his brother's led, to see if it is a life in which he could possibly fit in or if it is a life in which he would be totally out of place, a life in which his presence would almost certainly do more harm than good.
In other words, I tell my partner that maybe he should approach this like he would a case, that maybe the first thing he should do is to look into his brother's background and then make a decision based on that. I understand his concerns and I know what kind of risks he is going to have to take if he decides to try and contact him but I also know there are things he can try and do to minimize those risks. I know no background check could possibly prepare him for what he is likely to have to face should he decide to get in touch with the man... and I know a rejection would be devastating for him.
That is the part that worries me the most, the part I know I'm going to have to steel myself for. I know Blair desperately wants to meet his brother, I can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice but at the same time I know his brother may want nothing to do with him and I don't want my partner to get hurt. The problem is that, as much as I want to, I know I can't keep him safe, not this time around. All I can do is encourage him to find out as much as he can, to try and see whether the risk is worth taking... and to prepare myself for the fact that I may end up having to pick up the pieces.