For the last two years, I have taken part in a daily gratitude challenge – sharing one photo a day on Instagram of something I am grateful for. It’s taught me to look for the little things and has made me a more positive person. It has not always been easy to find something to be grateful for each day though, especially since losing my beautiful daughter Jessica in April.
One of Jessica’s godmothers once described her as a “joy carrier”. It was, and still is, such a wonderful description. She might have only had half a heart, but it overflowed with love and she brought sunshine to all who knew her. She taught me how to be strong, how to live each day to the full and how to find joy in the challenging moments. I continue with this challenge each day in honour of her.
Day 182 – I am grateful for the sunshine that this little girl brings to my life even in the moments when the storm of grief is raging all around me and I want to scream and cry and shout over the unfairness of it all. Her beautiful smile reminds me that there is still light even when the darkness of grief threatens to overwhelm me; a hug from her fills my heart with love even when I feel at my emptiest. Hearing her talk about Jessica gives me little moments of joy. She helps give me strength to face each day just by being the beautiful wonderful little person that she is. I hope that in my turn, I also bring her just as much comfort in the moments when she is missing her big sister.
Day 183 – I am grateful for fans. Lovely as it is to have the sunshine, the heat is a struggle for me at the moment. Staying indoors next to one of these and putting my puffy feet up is the most appealing place to be right now!
Day 184 – I am grateful that Sophie enjoyed taking part in sports day at preschool this morning and her visit to big school this afternoon. It was lovely to see the photos of Jessica that are up in her classroom and to be given a photo book with so many lovely photos of Jessica at school. So emotional walking back in to those classrooms though.
Day 185 – I am grateful that Sophie loves watering the roses. The Pretty Jessica roses seem to be doing well thanks to her watering them so well. Now if I can just teach her how to weed the garden too…
Day 186 – I am grateful for the beautiful tutu that one of the counsellors at our church made for Sophie. She loves her “puffy dress”.
Day 187 – I am grateful for a lovely, if emotional, Girls’ Brigade awards evening where both my girls got awarded the badges they earned during the year. I went up with Jessica’s GB cuddly toy “Rosie” to collect her badges. So pleased too to see the Jessica Charlotte George Cup go to a very worthy recipient who has overcome challenges to achieve just as Jessica did. I was always so proud to see how much Jessica loved her time at Girls’ Brigade and how she threw herself into it. She was very much missed tonight but will always be remembered.
Day 188 – I am grateful that this little lady of mine is coping well with having to wear a splint after she tripped and fell whilst spinning around after last night’s awards evening and broke her wrist. She was a little trooper at A&E last night and was very good at sitting still for her x-ray. The trip to A&E was harder for us as it brought back a lot of flashbacks of being there almost exactly 12 weeks earlier. Thankfully Sophie coped well with it all and was just as brave as her big sister always was.