That's how long Jimmy Miley held in the story about what happened in 1997. He tried talking to his family about it the day after, but they didn't want to hear it. So, Miley kept his head down and laid low until 2005, when he began hanging around Five Ponds golf course and telling pieces of the story to the workers there.
Miley was afraid of the reaction when he told people that he took his brother, Buddy, to Michigan and met Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who helped Buddy end his life.
"The guys at the golf course were really supportive when I told them," said Miley. "That helped me a lot. I was afraid to go to church with my mom, because of what I helped my brother do."
Miley began opening up just at the right time, because it wasn't long before he was approached by Mark Kram, Jr., who expressed interest in writing a book about the Mileys and the situation surrounding Buddy's death.
With Tuesday's release of Kram's book, Like Any Normal Day: A Story of Devotion, Miley may have to get used to the idea that countless people will be reading and reacting to the story of how his brother lived and died.
It has generated plenty of positive reviews from publications including Sports Illustrated and Publishers Weekly, and it earned a spot on Oprah Winfrey's "10 Titles to Pick Up Now" section of her magazine. Kram will sign copies of the book at the Barnes & Noble in Oxford Valley tonight at 7 p.m.
"What happened to Buddy and his family could happen to any of us," said Kram. "This is an ordinary family facing extraordinary circumstances."
Kram first became aware of the Mileys in 1993, when he saw a letter written by Buddy's mother, Rosemarie, in an issue of Sports Illustrated. Dennis Byrd of the New York Jets had just been paralyzed by a brutal hit during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in November 1992, and Rosemarie wanted to enlighten readers about the harsh reality of the violent game and how it changed the life of her son, Buddy.
He soon got in touch with her to write an article about the Mileys for the Philadelphia Daily News, where Kram works as a features writer for the sports section. After spending four hours with Rosemarie and Buddy at their home in Warminster, Kram had a clearer picture of what her and her family's life had become.
In 1973, Buddy Miley was the star quarterback for the William Tennent Panthers. He had actually started out at Archbishop Wood, Jimmy said, but the Vikings would not run the kind of offense Buddy could thrive in, so he changed schools.
One Friday night, at an away game against Plymouth Whitemarsh, the Panthers ran an option play. Buddy was tackled hard by Carmen Frangeosi, Jr., and his vertebrae was damaged permanently, making him a quadriplegic. In a split second, his life and the lives of the people connected to him had been changed forever.
"It was like night and day," said Jimmy, who was 11 years old at the time. "He was on top of the world, and then he had such a hard fall. From day one, he did not like it, he did not like being paralyzed."
From that point on, Buddy relied on the help of his family to get around, especially Jimmy. A star catcher for William Tennent, Jimmy was drafted out of high school by the Houston Astros in 1980, but he turned them down to stay with his brother. The Cleveland Indians tried to take him in 1981, again Jimmy said no.
Finally, the Los Angeles Dodgers convinced Jimmy to sign as a free agent, and he spent six months in the minor leagues before he couldn't take being away from his brother anymore.
"I kept thinking about him, about how he needed me," said Miley. "He was my brain, and I was his legs. I even took him to Lourdes, France, once to try and make a miracle happen. He was my hero, and he was suffering so much."
Kram did not hear about the Krams again until 1998, a year after Buddy's death. At that point, he had only learned that Buddy died. Kram didn't know about Dr. Kevorkian's involvement until later.
"Buddy's mind was made up and he wasn't going to be talked out of it," said Jimmy. "All I said was, 'Tell me when you want to go, and I'll get you there.'"
Kram managed to get a phone interview with Dr. Kevorkian in 2011 for the book, an hour-long conversation that would end up being one of the last ones given by the controversial doctor before his death six months later on June 3.
"I could sense that he was slipping," said Kram. "He was in a dark mood that day, he gave off a very dark view of humanity."
Even though Kevorkian is a character in Like Any Normal Day, Kram stresses that the book is not about him, nor is it a football book. For Kram, this is a universal story about the struggle of an American family.
"No one is spared suffering in life," said Kram. "You can either become bitter by it, or ignobled by it. I wanted to shed light on Buddy's life and death and create a true portrait of what happened."