Accepting loss means facing fear and letting go of pain.

Searching for the Lost Voice of Jacqueline Jane

👋 Hey, folks. 

I’m straying from the regular rails with today’s post. It’s a little different, but it might be the most important thing I’ve written to-date. 

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

A little over eight-years ago, my mom lost her battle with cancer. At times it feels like it was yesterday, and at others, it feels like decades have passed.

It’s her birthday today – she would have been 65. 🎂

I think about my mom often, but more so on this day than any other. It’s hard not to wish for one last chance to celebrate with her; to bask in the joy she brought to the world and to spoil her with love. 

To light her candles and not have to worry about them being blown out.

Nevermind a birthday celebration, I would give anything to just have one more conversation with her – if nothing else, just to hear her speak again. 

There are echoes of her voice in my mind, though it’s muffled and out of range – and as time goes by, it gets quieter and quieter.

So, today, I want to share a few things about my mom in the hopes of recovering a few lost memories, including the sound of her voice.

Find beauty
in Life’s cruelty

Jacqueline Jane (Hager) Davis, or Jackie, had a kind soul and an innocent spirit – she saw the good in people where others didn’t and believed in giving second chances. 

My mom didn’t take life too seriously, knowing it was severe enough; she loved to laugh, play games, and enjoy each moment of every day; she was youthful, full of life, and always held hope in her heart. 

My mom was the epitome of ‘Live. Laugh. Love.’ 

She was selfless, too, always putting others before herself

When I would visit during her treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital, she was far more concerned with my well-being than her own, offering money for gas and constantly worrying about me driving back-and-forth from Kingston to Toronto.

More than once she told me to stay home instead of going to see her. I didn’t listen, of course.

And no matter what, my mom always believed in me, never losing faith in a far-from-perfect son (even after I got arrested when I was 17). 

She saw the man I would become and knew what I was destined for – if she could see me now, I think she would approve of the choices I’ve made, especially in the most recent years. 

My mom saw light in darkness and taught me to search for beauty in life’s cruelty.

She will forever be my beacon of hope in times of despair.

To make a mother proud

The loss of my mom was cataclysmic, being arguably the most monumental event in my life. 

I was crushed when she passed, and it didn’t take long before feelings of regret and remorse began to bubble. Within a few months, there were plenty of casualties: 

  • I grew distant from family members as I battled anger and resentment; 
  • a seven-year relationship with my former partner came to an end; and
  • I was sent spiralling to a near-rock-bottom revelation.  

Few people know this (until now), but after my mom passed and my relationship ended, I lost my job at Frontenac Outfitters

Long story short, the poison of losing my mom spread into my life both personally and professionally. I was briefly unemployed as a result. Thankfully, I was given a second chance at the outfitters (one I’m sure my mom would have given had she been in the owners’ shoes).

If you’re reading this, Larry and Chrissy, thank you for the life lesson and giving me the opportunity to make amends. 🙏

From that day forth, I vowed to be the best version of myself. I made a commitment to do better and to never give up again – I promised to make my mom proud of who I was and who I would become. 

Loss is a powerful motivator to chase your dreams, and it forces you to accept the inevitability of change – not that it makes the depth of sorrow any shallower, but at least there’s some solace to be found in the empty space left behind. 

Again, I would give anything to see or talk to my mom once more, but everything happens for a reason. 

The inspiration to get to where I am today, from the goals I’ve achieved to the milestones I’ve reached, stems from the promise I made to my mom. I swore to never let her down, and that means facing fear and letting go of pain

I miss my mom more than words can ever convey, but I am grateful for the time we had together. 

Happy birthday, Mom.

I love you. 💝

Do you have a video or audio recording of my mom? If so, please let me know by sending an email to I’d love to get a copy – it would mean the world to me. 

The Diary of Davis Newsletter.
Photo by Aaron Burden

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