It's been so long since I've thought about her; since I've thought about any of it, really. But seeing this notebook, reading everything I've, everything she's, fine, everything we've, written in it, brings everything back. God, I can't believe how much has happened since. I guess it's really overdue for an update.
I never planned to pick up this notebook and write ever again. Like I said, I was never the writer in the family. But when mom asked Timothy and I to help her and Izzy make the move into the new house she bought, I, of course, was the one who was put in charge of taking Jade's old boxes out of the apartment. I almost pissed myself when sitting right on top of the first box I opened, practically smirking at me, was this damn notebook.
We all knew my mother would never last in an apartment. Let's be perfectly honest; apartments just aren't pish posh enough for mother. My mom reopened the studio and it did even better than it did the first time she opened it. She poured her heart and soul into it. She made money and saved money and made sure that she was never in trouble again. And once she had saved enough, she started looking for a house, and bought a nice small, cozy little cottage looking thing, pink and perfect looking for my mother, not too far from my house. The perfect location, in case I got bored and decided I needed to make a visit.
Jackie took a job at the studio; I guess my diner just wasn't good enough for her. But I mean, it was understandable; with her experience as an accountant, she could see to it that mom never fell behind in business, and at the same time, she could work to earn back moms respect. Now me, I would never want to have mom for a boss, but I almost think Jackie enjoyed it. To each his own, I suppose.
She and Sam are doing pretty alright, though. They've actually been married for a few years now. Sam proposed the moment after Jackie had come clean and told him about the whole stripper ordeal. He had said to her something along the lines of "waiting for her to be honestly in love with him". He was strange like that. It was a really nice wedding though, a lot nicer than mine, mostly because the atmosphere was nice. Unlike my wedding, everyone was happy to be there, and happy for Jackie. Even me, but I guess I kind of had to be; Jackie had made me Matron of Honor.
Mom asked Jackie if she and Sam had considered the possibility of giving her a grandchild recently and Jackie turned bright red and stuttered a "no, we haven't really talked about it much, no." Sam just smiled. Jackie makes it seem like she doesn't want children at all, but then again she made it seem like she didn't want to get married at all either. And, to be perfectly honest, she has been eating a lot of pickles lately.
Izzy's getting ready to graduate. She'll be the first Clarke kid since Jackie to go to college. By default, really, but then again, school wasn't really Jade's thing anyway, so who's to say she would have definitely gone to college. When it came time for Izzy to decide on one, we all pretty much assumed she'd pick the community college or a college nearby that she could commute to. Nope, not Izzy. She went and surprised us all, choosing a college nearly four states away. Mom nearly died when Izzy told her, it was great I was so glad I was there to witness it. Jackie was a little upset too. Izzy's the baby, the last little Clarke girl, so I mean, I guess I could understand why it could be hard for them when she leaves, but personally, I think it'll be good for her. Izzy needs the experience; she needs to cut those strings. And it'll be good for one of us to finally get away and experience the world outside of this family. It did kind of suck that she was going to be so far away, though. She was a pretty good, and cheap I might add, babysitter.
Oh yeah, did I forget to say that I had a kid? Yeah, four years ago last month, I was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-Section. Timothy and I were sitting around playing Playstation together when I felt something was…off. I pulled the controller away from Timothy to get his attention and we practically sped to the hospital, running red lights on the way. There was no way I was going to "lose" this one. Our baby girl was born five weeks early, weighing at barely four pounds. I didn't like seeing her so small and helpless with breathing tubes. It pissed me off, really. But I wasn't worried. I knew she was a fighter. She was my kid, after all.
She's four now, and she's the funniest kid you'll ever meet. She's this little mellow thing who would rather sit under a tree and watch the clouds than sit inside and watch T.V. My little hippie kid. She loves to dance though, and in spite of the fact that I tried my hardest to keep her far away from my mother's studio, she spends half her time there, dancing about. Unfortunately for my mother, and between you and me, she's a pretty, okay, very, uncoordinated kid. Oh, and she has the longest, blonde, blonde hair and the biggest green eyes. It was the moment I saw her eyes that I knew we named her right. Lindsay Jade McKeown. Oh yeah, and her favorite bed time story is the one about the fat groundhog or squirrel or whatever it was. That one always makes her laugh.
Our family has a new tradition, too. The three of us, Lindsay, Melissa, and I, spend every night together watching a movie, trying to stay awake for when Timothy gets home. Of course, we never do. Lindsay and I fall asleep in each others arms on the couch, and Melissa falls asleep on the floor by our feet. But the moment that front door creeks open, my puppy, who's not so much a puppy anymore, jumps up and runs over to him, barking like a maniac, waking both Lindsay and me up. Timothy goes right into a wrestling match with the dog as Lindsay jumps up after Melissa and runs to join Melissa in wrestling her father. Usually I watch the scene play out in front of me before I move. Usually I listen to the sound of my husband and my baby girl laughing and playing around with my puppy before I get up and jump right onto Timothy's back, joining in on the fun. I've never been so happy in my life.
It's funny, you know, how things can go from one extreme to another. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Jade, but when I look into Lindsay's big green eyes, I know that Jade is okay. I started writing in this notebook to write about all the pain that my family went through, and ended it by writing all the triumphs we ended up with. I'm not saying everything's perfect, but JK Rowling said it best; all is well. I guess there's really not much more to say. I've got more unpacking to do and a little girl to go entertain.