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:
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.