Jacob's diary

How can I go on with my world when my boy is no longer here? I wake up everyday and the first thing I do is feel like I can't face the day ahead without my son. I had to keep him alive and the only way I could do that was to make sure he lived his life through my diary. What did he do when he grew up? who did he fall in love with? I was going to give him the life that was taken so he would still be with me.


7. Just an empty room

Darren and I brought the boxes into Jacobs room and set them down on the floor. I wasn't sure if I was ready for this. I found myself making every excuse that I could to not start sorting through the things in the room. We had decided that any of his toys should be donated to other children who had little. His clothes were going to go to the charity shop, I wasn't sure about anything else. I just sat on the floor looking around the room. Where did I start? I walked over to the dresser and pulled open the drawer. Darren came into the room and sat down beside me as I took out a Top I had brought Jacob for the family photos that we had done. I gently picked it up and held it to my chest. Darren put his arms around me and I didn't push him away. I started to cry and I could not stop myself. Darren was trying his hardest to hold back his tears but I could see that they were going to fall any moment, he broke down. We sat holding each other for what felt like hours before Darren pulled away and gently took the item from me and placed it into the box. I took a deep breath. The first item was in the box, it was done now I just had to continue on through the pain of what needed to be done.

Darren walked over to the bed and pulled out the drawers. Inside was a small blue teddy bear with worn ears. Darren held it up in front of him and placed it onto the bed. He took out the spare pyjamas he looked over at me and I saw him run his hand over them as he placed them on the bed.

"I can still smell him. He is still in this room. I feel him. Am I crazy, Judy?"

"No!" I slid across the floor to where Darren was sitting. I could feel everything that he was feeling.

"It feels like he will never leave!" Darren wiped a tear. "I don't want him to be gone!"

"We take him wherever we go." I told Darren. "If we leave this house he leaves with us."

"How could I be so stupid. Every part of me knows what I have done to us. My body is screaming out for a drink, telling me I can not do this room without a drink!"

I touched Darren's hand. "Then I will make us a tea, you don't need alcohol."

"When we get this over with I promise you I will find help."

"I know WE will find help. I told you I will help you but we have so many things to sort through now."

"It's all my fault!"

"Look, we don't need to do the blame thing right now. Let's clear the room before we see if we can clear our own situation."

It took many hours and many tears before Darren and I stood in the doorway looking at room that only had a small bed and some furniture. The room was bare and the boxes were all in the hall. I had phoned someone from a local charity who was going to come by and pick them up. Every part of me felt like running over to those boxes and taking everything back out again. I knew deep down that I had to let these things go but it felt wrong, I felt wrong and knew that Darren must feel the same. I couldn't help but wonder if it was too soon to be doing this. Darren needed to get the room clear for his own healing and I just hoped that this was the first step. Now we just had to face the drink. Somehow I felt it wasn't going to be as easy and just stopping and I knew he needed to attend some meetings.

"I saw a job advert today. It's only a local store but It will help if I can get."

"I will look as well. I need to get us back to where we were."

"Look, let's just concentrate on getting you better. Don't rush into things. You do not need the stress of a new job adding to your problems."

Darren looked sad. "I just want to provide for you. You shouldn't be keeping me."

"Well we life in difficult times and in those times you come together to help each other. Isn't that what a real relationship is all about?"

"I'm sorry for all this mess."

"Look, mum gave me some money to help out. We can pay the mortgage for a couple of months. I hope to find work in that time. If we can get you into a programme you will be back to work in no time. Let's look on the positive side."

I had so many emotions going through my mind that I didn't know where to turn. I looked at Darren as we sat at the table eating a meal together. I knew I loved him deeply but could things ever be the same now, even if I found work and Darren got back into work. Could I ever trust him again? I was going over and over this on the inside and maybe I should have told him that as many times as I thought it. I just didn't want to see him go under. I felt like someone was playing the biggest games with my mind and they had all of the cards.

I sat at the computer filling out the online application for the job in the store. It was just stacking the shelves but I couldn't believe how many questions they were asking. It seemed they wanted to know just about everything about me. I pressed send and sat back. I just hoped that I got this job for my own sake as well as helping towards not losing the house.

I sat for a long time in the evening outside Jacob's room. I  sat on the stairs and just looked in the open door at the room, Just an empty room with nothing much in it. I could hear Darren moving about down stairs. He knew that I was sitting here but I guess he wasn't sure if he should disturb me or not. I knew he was thinking about this as well. The pig picture of Jacob hung above the fir e place in the frame we had both picked out for it. I found it so hard to be on that room, to look at that picture. I could remember the day we went to have that picture taken. Jacob had been up all night crying and this was one of only a few shots that we had managed to get that gave us such a perfect picture of him when he was not long born. It must have been so hard for Darren to have to see that picture everyday. I had left the house for a short while but he had to come and see that picture. It had crossed my mind that maybe we needed to take that down as well but in my heart I knew that I never could. If I could climb into that photo and hold him one more time I would.

"You can stay here." Darren said. "I will sleep on the couch."

"I need to take this slowly. I will stay at the hotel for now." I told him.

"That is just using more money. Why do that when you can stay in your own home?"

I thought about what he said. "Well we could save the money. God knows we need it!"

"I will stay here on the couch, I promise. If that is what you want."

"OK!" I wasn't sure what I was doing. "I'm going to go up. It has been a long night."

"Sleep well."

"You too." I felt myself instinctively lean forward as if I was going to kiss him goodnight but I stopped and turned my back and went to the bedroom closing the door behind me.

As lay in bed I couldn't help but wonder what was ahead for both Darren and myself. I knew he had to get into his meetings and I wasn't at all sure what that involved or even how I was going to help him in that. I needed as much help as he did in understanding all the events that were happening in our lives. I just hoped that we would find the magic key that unlocked all the things that had walked into our loving world and knocked us off of our axis. The job would be a start, if I could get it. I had thought about phoning Darren's boss and talking him through all the things that happened and letting him know that Darren was getting help. Maybe he could keep the job open for Darren, give him one last chance. If these things could come together then we would be on the path to sorting out our lives.

Jacob's diary

We didn't know what to say to Sara. The hospital had tried to do all that they could for her mother but she was dead on arrival. Sara just sat in the corridor with her head in her hands. I stood with my own tears falling down my face. Jacob sat down beside her and told her he was sorry. Sara turned around and put her arms around him and sobbed. It took Darren's hand and pulled him outside to leave the two of them on their own for a while. A woman had come down from social services and had explained a few things to me. It was fine for Sara to come home with us but they would have to meet with us to discuss her future care. She couldn't go on living in the home, how could she who was going to pay the bills?

When we returned home Jacob had taken Sara up to his room made sure she had everything she needed. I could hear them talking from downstairs. When Jacob came back down and into the living room he looked at Darren and I and burst into tears. We both comforted him. He had been so strong for Sara and now that she was asleep he let those defences down. I could tell by his face that held embarrassed but I told him I was so proud of him.

"We can't let them send her away somewhere else." Jacob looked from his father to me.

"We are going to talk to social services in a couple of days."

"She can stay with us though, can't she?"

"Yes, we wasn't going to send her anywhere else. I want her to stay as long as she wants and if that is years then so be it."

"I just hope that this doesn't knock her back to far. She has been doing so well in school."

"One step at a time, son." Darren patted his son on the shoulder with pride.

"Now, I'm going to do us all a cup of hot chocolate and then I think we need to find our beds!"

We all slept for hours. I was sure Sara must have been awake for a good part of it until exhaustion had finally found her. I meant every word that I had said to Jacob. I was so proud of my son. I was proud of the man he was turning into and how much he cared for his fellow human beings. If he kept on this road then his future was bright and that was all I could hope for.



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