Tomorrow is your seventh birthday. You should be getting excited about it, looking forward to your cards and presents, telling me what cake you want. But you’re not here. You are frozen forever in time. Forever six. I won’t get to see you celebrate another birthday, or blow the candles out on your cake. I just have the memories of those moments. Memories that I hold close in my heart, memories that I cherish. But oh my darling, I wish I had you.
What would you be like now beautiful girl? Four and a half months on from that last day – what changes would that time have brought? A more gappy smile perhaps with a few more visits from the tooth fairy. Would you still be asking her to leave a coin and a giraffe as you did the other times?
Would your new circulation have given you more energy? You’d just got back to your pre-surgery energy levels when you became unwell with those viruses that made you so poorly in those last couple of weeks. If you’d recovered from them and become well again, how much of a difference would the Fontan have made? Would you have managed to keep up with your little sister when scooting to the park together?
It makes me so sad that you never got to meet your baby brother. You were so very excited about having a new sibling. I remember you telling all the doctors and nurses that “Mummy has a baby in her tummy!” when you were in hospital having your heart surgery. You were such a wonderful big sister to Sophie and I know you would have been just as amazing with Thomas. Oh how you would have loved him. He would have had so many cuddles from you and I know you would have been so very helpful with him. You just loved babies and you really wanted a brother.
Thomas looks so much like you, my darling. Sometimes it feels like I’ve stepped back seven years. His little expressions, the way he waves his arms about – it’s like seeing you as a baby once more. Sometimes it makes me feel that you’re not so far away after all.
Other times I feel like you are very far away. I wish I dreamed of you more. Those moments when you visit me in my dreams are so very precious. For that brief moment, you are real once more; you are with me. For a moment, that constant ache in my heart is eased.
Darling Jessica, I miss you so very much. Living life without you here is so hard. We are doing our best to get through the day and to do the fun things that I know you would want us to still do. We miss your beautiful smile, your laugh, your drawings, the stories you would write, the wonderful snuggles we had. We miss the little things that were part of life with you – your buggy, dropping prescription requests into the doctors’ surgery, going for check-ups at the hospital. You brought us so much joy every single day of your life.
Sophie misses you too. She copes well most of the time but she has lost her constant playmate. She is so quick to make friends but hates having to say goodbye. You had the loveliest bond together. I was always so proud of my beautiful girls and how loving they were with each other. Sophie often talks about you. I love hearing her tell other people about her sister. You are still such a big part of her life and I hope you always will be.
Tomorrow, we will go to GreenAcres to sit with you at your forever bed. You would have loved your birthday cake – I’ve made you a Kerry cake this year, modelled on your favourite doll. We will bring you your cake and some flowers and try to sing Happy Birthday to you. We will talk to you, tell you how much we love you, how much we miss you. Maybe you’ll be looking down on us. I like to think so.
Happy birthday for tomorrow my beautiful girl. Love you millions and miss you always.