Jaclyn longed for her own children. She had come from a large family herself and enjoyed the company of kids. She loved their innocence, the fact that they would always tell you how things actually were, not how you wanted them to be.
Jaclyn had missed out on affection from her own parents. Dad was a farmer and was always busy in the fields, working hard from dawn to dusk to feed and clothe his ever -expanding family. Mum was so busy washing and cooking and helping with the animals that she didn¹t have much time left over for hugs and stories and playtime. Much as both parents adored their children, they showed their love through providing for their children rather than by showing them open affection.
There was a small village near the farm and Jaclyn managed to get a job at the pub when she was in her teens. It was just washing the glasses but at least it brought some money into the home and she could get out and about, away from the stink of the pigs and the barn for a few hours.
It was at the pub that Pete came into her life. After a whirlwind romance, they soon settled down and got married, moving into a small house in the city that Pete¹s grandfather had left him. Jaclyn was happy in her marriage but missed her lively brothers and sisters, as the city was a world away from the village where she grew up.
After many years, Jaclyn found out that she was pregnant. She was overjoyed and soaked up every moment of her pregnancy. Charlie was born and then soon after, along came little Mouse. This was what Jaclyn had been waiting for her whole life. She had a little family that she could shower affection on. Everything was perfect.
Until Pete died in a car crash. Jaclyn¹s whole world fell apart. Here she was with two small children and no family nearby. She did all she could to provide for the kids and to continue to give them the affection that she had missed out on as a child but without Pete her life could never be the same. He had been her soulmate, her one true love.
Charlie and Mouse learnt to rely on each other and developed a bond so strong that they could feel what each other was thinking without even having to speak. They were so close in age that people often mistook them for twins.
Jaclyn got more and more depressed as time went on and eventually just took to her bed. When Jaclyn¹s hair went grey overnight, Charlie started to panic. He got a doctor in to see what was going on and the bad news came Jaclyn actually had the Virus. Her health deteriorated rapidly and she drifted in and out of consciousness. One day, Charlie and Mouse came into her room with some wildflowers that they had picked on a trip to the countryside. The vibrant colours and the sweet scent of the bouquet reminded Jaclyn of the farm, of her family, of a solution. As if awakening from a dream, she became all businesslike and asked Charlie to get a neighbour to come in to talk to her. She had arrangements to make.
Charlie and Mouse were told to pack their bags, they were being sent to the village to live with their Aunt Abigail and Uncle Victor. The children clung to their mother, their tears mixing with her own and glistening on her withered face.
Jaclyn told her children the truth. She did not have much longer to live and she wanted to spare them the pain of seeing her fade away to nothing. She held them and told them to look after each other, to always be there for one another and to remember that although time and distance would soon separate her from them, the bonds of love would unite them together. Always.