Since 2016, I have taken part in a daily gratitude challenge, sharing a photo of one thing I am thankful for each day on Instagram. There have been days when finding little things to be grateful for has been very easy to do and others when it has been incredibly hard. Life as a bereaved parent is quite a rollercoaster at times. There have been many moments when I don’t feel grateful for anything at all – just broken and bruised. However, looking for those little moments has helped me even on the darkest of days. Hard though it may be at times, I have always managed to find something to be thankful for.
My eldest daughter Jessica was an inspiration to me throughout her short life. She had so much strength and such a wonderful zest for life. Her godmother described her once as a “joy carrier” and it was the perfect description for her. She was a little ray of sunshine, full of smiles and gave joy to all who knew her. I am, and will always be, grateful to be her mummy. She taught me to enjoy the little moments and to make the most of everyday because tomorrow is never promised. I continue with this challenge in honour of my beautiful brave girl.
If you would like to join me in a daily gratitude challenge for 2019, do feel free to use the hashtag #LHBL365daysofgratitude2019 on Instagram so I can find your posts there.
Day 314 – I am grateful for a fun family afternoon going bowling.
Day 315 – I am grateful that Jessica is still so often in Sophie’s thoughts. So lovely to be greeted by Sophie after school and have her eagerly show me the present she made for Jessica in Muddy Puddles today.
Day 316 – I am grateful that Sophie had an amazing first West End theatre experience at the Children in Need gala performance of Mary Poppins. She loved being able to meet the cast afterwards too.
Day 317 – I am grateful for a bit of me time going to the Country Living Christmas Fair while my mum looked after Thomas.
Day 318 – I am grateful for fabulous NHS care this evening. We went from an emergency GP appointment to children’s A&E and are currently on the paediatric assessment unit with a poorly little boy who has viral wheeze. He’s perked up a bit and we’re hoping that we can stretch out the salbutamol to 4 hours so we can get home tonight. Very emotional being back on PAU across from the bed where Jessica was when we last came here three weeks before she died. I have an overnight bag ready in case we do end up staying in but fingers crossed we won’t need to.
Day 319 – I am grateful that Thomas is in the right place for him at the moment. He had quite an unsettled night and is on oxygen and having nebulisers to help with his breathing. He’s had moments of perking up today and the doctors have tried to take him off the airvo for a bit but at the moment he still needs it. Hoping that he has a better night tonight.
Day 320 – I am grateful that we are home. Meds for the next few days are written up on the fridge which brought back sharp memories of doing the same after Jessica’s last hospital admission. I’ll be honest, it was hard being back in a hospital that Jessica was admitted to several times and where she died. I’ve spent the last 40 hours on my own with Thomas in a single room apart from 45 minutes of Sophie coming in with hubby before going to Girls’ Brigade. It’s brought back a lot of the guilt that I couldn’t save Jessica and the unanswered questions of whether different actions would have prevented that outcome. No doubt I’ll be very much on edge over the next 30 hours no matter how much I remind myself that Thomas should be fine. But I am glad we are home and that Thomas seems so much better.