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 something to be grateful for each day isn’t about trying to give the impression that life is perfect and wonderful. It isn’t. Those little moments of gratitude can be hard to find at times; particularly after my eldest daughter Jessica died in April 2018. Some days, I struggle to find my grateful moment; some days I just feel broken and bruised. But even when it has been hard to do, I have still managed to find something. Even if it is something small, and silly, and trivial.
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. 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 26 – I am grateful that my little Batgirl had fun at her friend’s superhero party.
Day 27 – I am grateful that I finally managed to complete all the lessons on the French course on Duolingo after four years of doing it. Each time I’ve come close to completing it before, there was an update to the app and lots of new lessons were added. No doubt there’ll be more new lessons at some point and I’ll still keep practising and using the stories section to work on my French in the meantime, but this feels like a nice achievement!
Day 28 – I am grateful for this beautiful print that I received in the post today from another heart family. The little note that came with it said that the illustration reminded them of my Jessica who was “so brave and so very kind”. What a beautiful thing to receive in the post today and I love the little angel with hair and glasses just like Jessica’s. Always means so very much to know that Jessica is loved and remembered by others and that we are too.
Day 29 – I am grateful for warm dressing gowns on a chilly morning.
Day 30 – I am grateful for music.
Day 31 – I am grateful for diversity, for different cultures and experiences and for my European friends and family. I feel very sad that after today Britain is no longer part of the EU and although I have no choice but to accept Brexit, I am still European and I always will be. Sharing a memory today of a little moment from our last trip across the Channel.
Day 32 – I am grateful for a lovely afternoon at the theatre watching my friend Katy playing a horse, rabbit and stoat in The Wind in the Willows. Such a brilliant show, well done to everyone involved.