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 33 – I am grateful for quality family time together. We had a lovely walk around West Wycombe Park, planting a snowdrop in memory of Jessica. Thomas loved exploring and Sophie had fun rolling down a hill “because that’s what Jessica loved to do” (you can just about see Sophie and Daddy at the top of the hill in the photo). We finished off our Sunday with a movie night and a mini disco in the front room. An almost perfect day – if only Jessica could have been there too, today would have been pure perfection. But she was part of it; always loved and never forgotten.
Day 34 – I am grateful that Sophie had fun after school at the park with her friends.
Day 35 – I am grateful for how much joy there can be in something as simple as playing ‘peek-a-boo’.
Day 36 – I am grateful that Thomas coped so well with his first trip to the barbers.
Day 37 – I am grateful for outdoor toys.
Day 38 – I am grateful for moments of watching Sophie and Thomas playing together.
Day 39 – I am grateful that Thomas is now officially a member of the LEJOG Association after doing the journey by bus and train last year just after his first birthday. He received a special Chairman’s Award trophy in honour of Jessica and it was lovely to hear other people remember her from the last time we were here.