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 40 – I am grateful to have arrived back home safely and to be inside and sheltered from Storm Ciara (until this evening at least when I have to take hubby to the airport for his flight to Australia). Thomas’s trophy from last night now has pride of place next to Sophie’s one from three years ago.
Day 41 – I am grateful for warm blankets and a short school run!
Day 42 – I am grateful for fun in the garden trying to fly a homemade kite.
Day 43 – I am grateful for getting to see a whole album of ‘new’ photos of Jessica that were taken on a photo shoot for Action Medical Research a few years ago to help raise awareness of some wonderful research they were funding to help improve surgical outcomes for children with HLHS. This week is #CHDAwarenessWeek and while I haven’t been as vocal about raising awareness as I have been in previous years, it is still something that remains very close to my heart. We are so very thankful for all the research, all the medical advances and skills of the healthcare professionals that gave us six and a half years with this beautiful girl. What a wonderful gift it was to see so many photos of her beautiful smiley face. I could almost hear the giggles coming from some of them. Such precious memories.
Day 44 – I am grateful for video calls and being able to talk face-to-face with my lovely hubby earlier today even though we are more than 10,000 miles apart at the moment.
Day 45 – I am grateful that I managed to fix my washing machine after it stopped working yesterday with the help of YouTube videos and some advice and tools from my father-in-law.
Day 46 – I am grateful for time to bake cookies with Sophie.