This week has been quite an emotional one. There have been a lot of tough moments when the storm of grief has been raging all around me, and the longing for Jessica has felt almost unbearable. The end of the summer term and the activities that come with it bring back so many memories.
Last Friday saw Sophie take part in her first Girls’ Brigade display. She was an absolute delight to watch – throwing herself in to the two songs that she took part in, dancing away and doing all the actions. Seeing her walk in with all her friends in their uniform made my heart break again. There should have been another little girl standing next to her. I remembered how proud Jessica was when Sophie started Girls’ Brigade; how keen she was to look after her little sister and show her what to do. She would have loved to have performed in that display next to Sophie.
The next day was the heart family day out at Paultons Park. Once again, there were the memories of previous visits with Jessica and the sadness of not having her with us. It was lovely to see Sophie making friends though and for us to still feel such a part of the heart family community.
We visited friends on Sunday and once again, our visit was full of memories of the last time we had been there. Jessica had been so taken by their new baby and had loved giving him cuddles. She had cried on the journey home and asked when we would see them again. We never realised that it would be the last time she would see them.
Sophie had her preschool sports day on Tuesday followed by her reception visit. I was fine taking her into the school hall, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to walk into the classrooms where Jessica was taught. Thankfully Jessica’s reception teacher had anticipated it and made sure I had some time out in a quiet classroom to compose myself again while Sophie was busy exploring her new classroom.
I suspect this evening will also be a tough one. It is awards evening for the Girls’ and Boys’ Brigade. Sophie will receive the badges she has worked for and we will also be collecting the badges that Jessica earned during the year. We have also donated a trophy in memory of Jessica which will be given out as an annual award. I am looking forward to Sophie getting the first badges on her badge bag but I know that my heart will ache so much for my other little girl who should be going up to get her badges too.
Things that have made me smile this week
- Listening to Sophie telling one of her new friends about Jessica at the heart family day out.
- Sophie’s little victory dance at sports day after she came first in three out of the five races she took part in.
- Seeing the girls’ namesake roses both full of blooms in the garden.
- Seeing the photos of Jessica on the wall of her classroom. Her teacher told me that her classmates still stop and look at them and think about Jessica. It is nice to know that she is still a part of her class even though she is no longer here.
- Being given a photobook filled with photos of Jessica at school.
- Seeing Sophie in the pretty tutu that one of the counsellors at our church made for her.
- Sophie deciding to name the teddy bear she was given by one of the older girls at church Jessica “because she is so beautiful”.