At the start of 2016, inspired by a friend, I started a daily gratitude challenge – posting one thing that I was thankful for each day on Instagram. I enjoyed it so much that when I reached the end of that year, I carried on and have kept going ever since. Finding one little thing to be thankful for each day has now become part of my daily routine and I’ve loved seeing friends joining in along the way too.
Finding little things to be grateful for isn’t always easy, especially when living through scary and uncertain times. I found though that trying to find something, however small and trivial, to be grateful for has helped me through some of the hardest days of my life.
My eldest daughter Jessica, who died in April 2018, 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. And even though having to live life without Jessica is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I will continue to look for those little things to be thankful for, and keep going with this challenge in honour of my beautiful brave girl.
Here are my grateful moments from the past week:
Day 75 – I am grateful for the ordinary everyday moments that are all too easy to take for granted.
Day 76 – I am grateful for sibling love. Even though Thomas never got to meet Jessica earthside, he still shows lots of affection to her when we visit her forever bed. Today he was kissing the carving of her, giving her lots of cuddles and singing away to her. So adorable.
Day 77 – I am grateful that the forget-me-nots that first appeared in my garden the day before Mother’s Day last year are back again. Still feel like they’re a little gift from Jessica reminding me she is still with us.
Day 78 – I am grateful for the way so many people I know are pulling together during this time and looking out for each other; offering support to friends and family where they can and ensuring that lines of communication remain open and trying to reduce feelings of isolation even when we are no longer able to be physically present together.
Day 79 – I am grateful for a lovely surprise parcel in the post for Sophie and Thomas today.
Day 80 – I am grateful for teachers and schools; for all they do to help our children learn and discover new things, and for the support that they will be providing to help keep key workers working over the weeks ahead. Finishing school today and not knowing when we’ll be back has been tough and emotional. Especially as it brings back those reminders that Jessica didn’t get to finish this term in Year 1 either. But it will be lovely to spend more time with Sophie and part of me is looking forward to getting to do some home ed with her just like I did with her big sister.
Day 81 – I am grateful for a picnic in the garden.