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.
Day 349 – I am grateful for time together as a family. We went to the Christmas remembrance service at GreenAcres this morning where Sophie made a bauble for Jessica and we took her a rainbow bouquet of roses. This isn’t how family time should be, but this is our reality and our time with Jessica. Always loved and always missed. The brightest star in our sky.
Day 350 – I am grateful for all the love behind the decorations on my tree. All the baubles with our names on, the ones that the children have made and those that friends have sent us in memory of Jessica. I’d rather not have had the last ones, but they tell me that Jessica has been loved and remembered by others and that always means a lot. I’m grateful too for the cards that include her name.
Day 351 – I am grateful for time to relax in amongst the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations and enjoy a lovely chat with a good friend over coffee and cake.
Day 352 – I am grateful for a lovely evening out at our work Christmas meal.
Day 353 – I am grateful for Christmas outfits and school breaking up for the Christmas holidays.
Day 354 – I am grateful for getting to sing a duet with Sophie at the annual carols and mince pies service at church.
Day 355 – I am grateful for time catching up with friends over a leisurely breakfast and seeing how much Thomas enjoyed his first pain au chocolat.