Waking up is something everyone expects to do, you say good night only to be able to say good morning in return. When you marry the one you love, you expected to tell them anything and everything, it's like a duty. But what if the one thing that you feel that you couldn't tell them costs you your life?
This is the beginning to my diary, holding my secrets, and discovering my purpose in life.
Justin's been gone lately working on the oil rig which leaves me at home alone taking care of our four year old son, Benjamin. With Ben being so young and not able to help if I need it due to my illness is one of my biggest fears yet. Being a stay at home mom is more stressful than you think, especially if you need to get something off your mind. My routine is to do whatever needs to be cleaned or bought around the house, therefore, staying busy with an open mind is very rare for me. However, once Ben got old enough to start school I was determined to become a teacher for the second grade. But when you feel like you have to put your life on hold that changes every choice you make.
Diary One: January 2, 2009
Never in my entire life have I ever been given or even thought about buying myself a diary, it's not the type of thing I would ever get into. Now it's as if this is all being planned out for me. My grandmother, who has always gave me the same gift for Christmas since I was a little girl, some sort of Disney Movie character ornament, decides to switch it up this year and get me a diary instead. When I first found out I was diagnosed, I didn't know how I was going to vent out all of my feelings. The one thing I did know was that I was not going to tell Justin about this now, maybe not ever.
This is the beginning to my diary, which I feel will become my best friend.
It's not that Justin and I have an unorthodox social relationship, it's actually better than most couples. The problem is that I don't know if I have even begun to accept this huge change in my own life yet, I can't imagine what his reaction would be. Justin and I have been happily married for seven years now. We met in college at a baseball game; his best friend told him that he was going to hit a homerun to right where he was sitting and drop that ball right into his hands. Despite the fact that he did hit the home run, it wasn't in Justin's hands, it was in mine. I didn't think anything of it considering I wasn't a huge baseball fan, but I thought I would make the best of this and make Justin make me a deal in order to get the baseball from me. It was the best decision of my life; after that first date we have been connected for all eternity.
Diary Six: January 6, 2009
Two weeks ago today I found out I'm slowing dieing off, literally. I haven't ever been the person to write down my feelings or even express them any other way then letting it all out on Justin. This new method is definitely something I never would be doing, unless it wasn't for that fact that I think it's going to keep me going longer than I would have without it.
Justin comes home tomorrow thinking I'm the same wife he had when he left for his two week schedule. I know you may think it's selfish not telling him or that he could help, but honestly it doesn't make a difference. I'm still in total denial that this is happening to me, mainly because I now feel different. I still look thet same and my body has no reactions that are out of the ordinary for me.
At least I know that my fate can't be blamed on anyone else, it's something incapable of curing, it's here now and always will be.
"Benji," will you please come to the kitchen and tell me what you want for your snack?" I hollered out from the back door out to the play set we put up for him just recently.
On a normal basis I don't let him go outside without me, but the neighbor girl and her friend offered to watch him while I did some things around the house. I finally got around to cleaning our family room up. It now has a nice love seat and a fire place where I can peacefully sit down and write in my diary, which I have continued doing everyday. I figured since Ben is growing up and being able to do more things on his own and Justin gone for long periods at a time, we could hardly consider it a family room.
"Jaclyn? Ben? Sweetie where are you?" a concerned Justin questioned.
"Hey honey we're in the bathroom. Ben had an accident and got a cut on his knee. It was the only reason he came inside, otherwise we would have never been able to get him back inside," I say very anxiously, hoping I don't give away a strange environment to him.
"Hey tough guy, what'd ya do to that leg of yours?" Justin asks without noticing my uncomfortable actions.
With a big grin across his face while watching me and Justin hug, Ben told Justin, "I was climbing on the top of my castle when I got shot down by one of the soldiers. I fell straight to the ground and scraped my knee up. But don't worry daddy I won't let him beat me again."
With Ben only being about five years old, he's already doing his best to try to impress Justin. Not that it's a bad thing, but when a father thrives for perfection and they're not receiving it, the son always has the mother to cry to when he can't take it anymore Ben, on the other hand, might not have that and that really worries me.
"Oh I knew that's what I would hear kiddo! No one beats my tough guy in anything isn't that right? And Jaclyn, my mom's coming over for dinner tonight around 6:30."
Diary 12: January 12, 2009
The first night alone with Justin felt like I was sleeping with a total stranger, when really he should be feeling that way, not me.
When his mother, Barbra, came over for dinner that nigh,t my hands were so clammy I almost dropped every entrÃe I brought out to the table. Throughout the night, I only received a few of those what the hell Jaclyn, stop acting like you've never met my mother before looks. I excused myself only once to sit outside and quietly cry. Tthey really thought I was in the bathroom using my excuse that I didn't feel good. After about fifteen minutes or so, I regrouped myself together and returned to the dinner table with the best actress face you could imagine I don't know how well it worked, but there wasn't any more of those looks given across the table to me.
When Justin's mom left we begun to argue. His mom is the rich, snotty, lady who wants his son to have the wife who does everything perfect! That's not me. My heads spinning in all directions with frustration after tonight, but the one thing I am certain on is that she'll surely be happy when I'm gone...
Justin and I did nothing but argue while he was home. It was over the littlest things too, like why I still haven't called the people to clean our carpet or what we did last News Years Eve that was so much better than this year. I'm beginning to wonder if he's starting to vibe something is wrong with me.
I've never been one to smoke, but once Justin went back for his two week oil rig schedule, I went loose. With Ben staying down at his aunts house in North Carolina for a couple days, I've had nothing but time of my hands. I knew smoking would only kill me quicker, but either way it was going to happen...
Diary 104: March 13, 2009
I am now beginning to feel an emotional and physical change in my body. Loss of appetite and carelessness to where anyone is are the minor changes. I noticed stomach pain, random outburst of tears, restless sleeping, and zero energy. I wake up in the middle of the night throwing up, but I make sure to hold it in until I make it to the guest bathroom, that way Justin doesn't question why I keep vomiting.
When Ben's outside playing or doing whatever it is he's doing, I have been going through all of the photo albums I have in the house. Mine and Justin's wedding albums and all of Ben's birthday are some of the few that I really break down on. I put aside ones that make me smile, which are very limited. I think when I finally tell or give this diary to Justin I'll make sure to remind him to remember me with the goods times, not the bad.
I still haven't told Justin about this, obviously, and I finally came to the conclusion that I'm not going to either. He's been acting a little more sympathetic to me only because he thinks I'm going through depression from being away from him. He offered to quit his job but that was an automatic no. That would just make us become closer and make this more difficult. I plan on this being simple and quick when it finally gets to me. I want me and only me at my funeral.
Even after all these months, Justin and I remain together. Ben's now five years old and is getting ready for the summer, I think everyone is! The summer is a special time for all of us. Justin and I got married at the beginning of the summer and I had received the amazing news that I was pregnant with Ben then.
My diary is my true best friend, as I figured it would be. I have written every single day in it. When Justin was home I made sure to wake up about half an hour early to spill out my thoughts, the dreams I had that night, and as always my tears. I always have at least one tear drop left on my paper no matter if my day is going to be good or bad. I know my time is coming, but no one else does. I think my time is going to end without me being able to tell my family good-bye...
Diary 168: May Day
Today is my day to wake up saying good morning, but knowing that I won't say good night. Today is the day I finally figure out my purpose in life. Today is your last to know why it's happening to me...
Ben, as you are just a young boy getting ready to start your adventure in life, you still have time. The object of life is to play, Earth is a task and heaven is your playground. Being your mother and watching you grow up as much as I could was the most joyous part of my everyday. I'm sorry I came down with this, and you'll never know what it's like to cry on my shoulder when you run out of time in a football game; but I can promise you that when that throw is just a little short to your player, I'll give a small boost with a blow from heaven. I'll be at every single event you have without an excuse as to why I couldn't make it. Don't worry though, when you get old enough to read this and understand it, I'll leave you and the cute girlfriend you have alone.
When you get caught thinking of me, all you have to do is look up to the clouds, like we use to when you were little, and find the shape of a heart, then you know you've found me.
I love you Benji. I'll be here waiting.
Justin, I haven't always been the one to hold back my feelings, but I've realized a lot of things, and believe it or not, the ultimate measure of myself is not where I stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where I stand in times of challenges and controversy.
This was the hardest challenge I have ever been in. It definitely was discomforting and inconvenient that I knew you would eventually be laying alone in bed, and taking care of Ben. My challenge was to not break this family up. You and Ben deserved to live on without knowing ahead of time that the cancer I had would kill me today. You have to face the fact that life will be taken away from us, all of us, sometime. Mine just happens to be way sooner than anyone expected. Except me of course. I knew all along today would be my day.
It's all connected there is a reason why...
I have finally accepted that there will be two dates on my tomb stone. Everyone will read them in sorrow, but me, Jaclyn Ann, knows that all that matters on that stone is the numbers with a little dash between them. That was my life, and all I needed.
Happy Anniversary Justin. I love you. I know you'll eventually forgive me when you understand you're purpose in life like I did.
I watched Justin, that day, open that diary like it was some kind of present. He thought I had gone out for the day. I know that because I'm up here listening for when he calls my name. Justin fell to his knees and screamed until nothing else would come out, wishing this was all a bad dream. He solemnly walked down to the place where I rest in peace now. For the next few hours Justin laid with my body until someone vigorously pulled him off; it was like you just cut off his oxygen supply. I watched Justin for the rest of my life.
The best part all of this is I now know why I was put on this earth. Not to cause heartache or mourning, but to get to know Justin and to have Ben, so I could lead them in the right direction. That was always my job, dead or alive.
It's no longer my secret, it's my purpose"