My name is Jacqueline, but pretty much everyone refers to me as Her Royal Highness Princess Jacqueline. I’m a regular mom, sister, daughter, and friend (except for my royal title). Joy is my middle name, literally, and I’m embarking on a journey to live up to that name by finding joy in everything – the horrible, the wonderful, the mundane, the exciting. I hope to make the world a better place by living a life of happiness, gratitude, and joy.
In March of 2007, my husband, Brian, was diagnosed with stage 1B melanoma. He had surgery and some lymph nodes removed and tested (results were negative). On February 10, 2012, Brian’s melanoma returned and he was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Tests revealed it was in his liver, right lung, spleen, and adrenal glands. I had to quit my job in order to care for him full-time. The prognosis was not good. However, we decided from day one that cancer was going to be our “beautiful struggle” and we’d let it make us better people. Brian always had an infectious personality. I hope I have caught just a little bit of it and that I can take the exuberance he had for life and keep it going for the rest of my days. After just 112 days of battling cancer with grace and dignity, he passed away at 12:07am on May 28th, 2012, surrounded by those he loved. Now he is just part of something bigger and mysterious. I am on my own, but far from alone. Through his journey to death, I found life and I found my voice.
I believe love, happiness, contentment, and joy can be found in any circumstance. Finding them can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort and even the scars we receive from the beautiful struggles we endure in the pursuit of these things.
I would love to hear from you! Please share your ups, downs, happiness, sadness, and absolutely your “= Joy” moments!