#366daysofgratitude 2020 – Week 23

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 have 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:

 

My view while reading a book in the garden; our camouflage butterfly picture; a bouquet of roses and peonies in Jessica's vase on our piano; Sophie, Daddy and Thomas removing ribbons from Jessica's memorial butterfly; Sophie flying a kite at the park; Sophie with several completed jigsaws on the table; Daddy, Thomas and Grandma in Grandma and Grandad's garden - "#366daysofgratitude 2020 - Week 23"

 

Day 159 – I am grateful for having some shelter in the garden so I could sit outside with my book and have a little bit of me time.

Day 160 – I am grateful for simple effective art activities – we had fun making these camouflage butterflies.

Day 161 – I am grateful for this beautiful bouquet of roses and peonies which was a lovely surprise today. I don’t know who sent them but whoever did said they are “beautiful and joyful just like your Jessica” and they certainly are that. Thank you so much for putting a much-needed smile on my face today after a very tough few days.

Day 162 – I am grateful for the temporary loan of Jessica’s butterfly, that normally hangs in the school playground, to allow us to remove the ribbons and put them in her memory box. It was good to have the space to do this out in the garden, with the birds singing, where we could all be together in private and take our time over removing each ribbon and reading the memory on it before folding it neatly and placing it inside Jessica’s memory box. Lots of tears this morning, but a very special way to stop and remember our beautiful girl. The butterfly is now back at school ready to go back up in the playground once more.

Day 163 – I am grateful for the pure joy of flying a kite on a windy afternoon.

Day 164 – I am grateful for jigsaws.

Day 165 – I am grateful we were able to surprise Grandma and Grandad with a visit today.

 

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34 thoughts on “#366daysofgratitude 2020 – Week 23

  1. What lovely photos. I do like the camouflage butterflies. So pretty.
    How lovely for someone to send you flowers. It sounded like you needed them.
    Aww! Jessica’s butterfly is such a beautiful idea. Sending hugs x

  2. Every time I read one of your gratitude posts, I think “I should do that too”. I am not on Instagram, though. I would have to sign up.

    Your gratitude for being Jessica’s mom is inspiring. She did teach you some important things – to enjoy every day and not take anything for granted. What a precious gift from a little girl!

    I ben Grandma and Granddad were very grateful for your visit.

    1. Thank you Laurie. It’s been so helpful at times to have that daily prompt to focus on something to be grateful for. It doesn’t have to be done via Instagram – I know a lot of people who use a gratitude journal to do it.

  3. Such a lovely gift of flowers to be sent, any idea who they are from yet? The butterfly and memory ribbons is a wonderful thing for the school to have done for you all. Hope the visit with grandparents went well.

    1. They were from a close friend of mine – the bouquet was actually called ‘the Jessica’ which makes it even more special 🙂

  4. How nice to be able to enjoy Jessica’s butterfly at home. And great you were able to see your parents. I’m loving jigsaws too, but still can’t get N to do them, unless they’re down to the last 20 or so pieces!

  5. How lovely to be able to borrow the butterfly and collect all of those precious memories from it. It must have been really bittersweet. I bet Grandma and Grandad were very happy to see you all! Me time reading in the garden is always good.

  6. I’ve been reading books nowadays as well 😀 feels awesome to do so. Interesting butterfly and how sweet to sent the bouquet in the memory of your daughter. That’s alot of jigsaws. Feels great to meet grandparents 😀 How lovely to remember Jessica through the butterfly and ribbons

    1. I don’t get a lot of time to read so it was nice to have that time out in the garden. Looking through the ribbons from the butterfly did feel like a very special way to remember Jessica.

    1. Thank you, it was lovely to read the memories written on them and to know that Jessica meant so much to others.

  7. Those camouflage butterflies look great and lovely flowers.

    So lovely that you could bring the butterfly home and reflect on the memories x

    1. It was so special to have the butterfly at home for a short time and to have that time to focus on remembering Jessica.

  8. Such lovely photos. I do like the camouflage butterflies, they are pretty. That is lovely for someone to send you flowers. Sounds like you needed them. Jessica’s butterfly is such a beautiful idea. Hugs x

    1. The flowers were definitely much-needed that day. I love that the school did the butterfly for Jessica – it was such a beautiful way to remember her and I’m so glad we’ve been able to keep the ribbons.

  9. What a thoughtful gift from an unknown friend, and a lovely surprise! The camouflage butterfly is a pretty idea. And Jessica’s butterfly at school is a wonderful memory of your beautiful girl.
    I enjoy reading in the garden too, even if it doesn’t happen often.

    1. The flowers were so lovely – especially as I found out afterwards that that particular arrangement was called ‘Jessica’ which made it even more special.

  10. How lovely to be sent some surprise flowers such a nice thought. What a lovely thing for the school to do and so very precious. The butterflies are a good idea I think I will try those with my two. We popped to see the grandparents last week as well.

  11. Awww it sounds like a real week of highs and lows. The butterfly sounds like a great idea and the flowers are beautiful too. So lovely to know that people are thinking of you. Sending hugs xxx

    1. Thank you – there were definitely highs and lows but it was special to have that time with Jessica’s butterfly and the surprise flowers were lovely.

  12. A surprise visit to Grandma and Grandad’s would have been a lovely end to the week. I am so sorry it was such a hard week x
    What a lovely surprise to receive such gorgeous flowers, I hope the sender does make themselves known – a lovely gesture in place of a big hug.
    You have totally outdone us in the jigsaw stakes, we need to get cracking on a new one! Hope you are all rested – sending you big hugs x

    1. Thank you. The flowers turned out to be from a friend who saw that the name of that particular arrangement was ‘Jessica’ which made her think of my Jessica. Such a lovely surprise.

  13. How lovely to be sent some flowers. I am glad you were able to have and process Jessica’s ribbons. We have also been kite flying #project365

  14. How lovely getting a surprise bouquet, its nice someone is thinking of you! You have lots of jigsaws, I like doing them too! Although sometimes its a struggle encouraging the boys to join in.

    1. Sophie used to love doing jigsaws but it’s been a while since she’s done one – so she made up for it by doing lots! 🙂

  15. Fab idea with the camouflaged butterfly. I can’t wait for my kids to be at school next year so I can read in the garden without being nagged for snacks every 5 minutes! #project366

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