Friday Focus 10/05/19 – Entering my forties

I turned forty yesterday. The start of a new decade in my life. It’s made for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster of a week. Not because turning forty bothered me. It’s turning forty without Jessica that is hard. A significant milestone – another reminder that time goes on and sometimes it feels like time going on means leaving Jessica behind. Jessica, whose entire life was lived in my thirties. We’re not leaving her behind of course though. We carry her with us every single day. But those milestones are hard all the same.

 

The word 'forty' surrounded by small numeral '40's

It’s been a week of birthday celebrations. Last weekend was my joint birthday party with my twin sister and her best friend. We had a lovely fancy dress party. Hubby and I went in 1940s-themed outfits (mostly because I needed an outfit that I could breastfeed in!). I even got my hair done at the hairdressers which I don’t think I’ve done since my wedding day (other than getting it cut every now and then). Sophie had a wonderful time with her cousins and Thomas was very happy being passed around for cuddles which meant I had the opportunity to get up on the dance floor and let my hair down.

 

Me, my sister's best friend and my twin sister at our 40th birthday party

 

Monday saw another 40th celebration – this time it was my friend Nick, who also shares my birthday. We had a lovely afternoon enjoying the sunshine in her garden, watching Sophie play with the other children. Hubby particularly enjoyed the gin tent!

 

I should have anticipated that the highs of the weekend would inevitably be followed by a low as we returned to reality once again. Tuesday was the lowest day I have had for quite some time. The storm of grief was raging and the ache of longing for Jessica felt almost unbearable.

 

The storms of grief come and go. Milestones are hard and we are approaching the anniversary of Jessica’s funeral now as well. There will be storms and tough days ahead. Some days I navigate them better than others.

 

I set up a birthday fundraiser for Little Hearts Matter this year. I didn’t want any gifts for my 40th birthday. There is nothing I need and the only thing I wanted – Jessica – was the one thing that no-one could give. Hubby surprised me though with the most wonderful gift – a sculpture of Jessica almost identical to the one at her forever bed. He couldn’t give me Jessica, but he came as close as he could. Such a beautiful, precious gift.

 

The wooden sculpture of Jessica kneeling holding her Kerry doll

 

The birthday celebrations will be continuing over the weekend. We have a birthday barbecue planned for Sunday and hubby has been busy planning this. Hopefully the weather will be dry for us!

 

Things that have made me smile this week

  • My mum making a grand entrance at my birthday party when she arrived dressed as the Queen.

 

Sophie (dressed as Princess Anna) next to my mum (dressed as the Queen)

 

  • Seeing all my brothers and sisters together at my birthday party. It is the first time that all of us have been together since my dad’s funeral nine and a half years ago.

 

Me with all my brothers and sisters in our fancy dress outfits at my birthday party

 

  • Going for a walk around Petersfield Heath and watching Sophie having fun feeding the ducks.

 

Sophie on the rocking horse at Petersfield Heath

 

  • Watching a delighted Sophie eating chocolate sauce off a plate with her fingers at my friend Nick’s birthday celebrations.

 

Sophie eating chocolate sauce off a plate with her fingers

 

  • Listening to Thomas chattering away.

 

  • Going for a coffee with a friend.

 

  • All my lovely birthday cards and the happy birthday wishes on social media.

 

  • Hearing Jessica and Sophie sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, thanks to my Heartsie bear that they made for me a couple of years ago.

 

10 thoughts on “Friday Focus 10/05/19 – Entering my forties

  1. Happy Birthday Louise ! I didn’t realise it was your fortieth as well. You look lovely dressed up for your party, it’s only right that the celebrations continue as 40 is an age to be celebrated. The statue of Jessica is beautiful, such a thoughtful gift from your husband. You have such a strong support network around you which is just amazing I hope it brings you a little comfort on the darker days x

  2. Happy birthday! I think forty is a fabulous decade. Enjoy. I do remember early milestones that pass and realise that a loved one isn’t following. Like walking into a room they can’t follow, but you’re right about carrying Jessica with you. Good way to think of it. You really have hit the 40 birthday week. How lovely that you are all turning 40 around the same time. Obviously your twin, but friends as well. I loved your outfit and hair. Sophie looks like she enjoyed it all too! #wotw

  3. Oh wow, don’t you look fabulous! I’m glad you’ve had some fun even though you’ve had your down days too. I love your figure of Jessica, what a lovely thoughtful husband you have. Thanks for linking up and being one of my Wowers this week xx #Wotw
    p.s. I’d definitely courtesy in front of your Queen Mother 🙂

  4. Happy birthday! I didn’t realize you have a twin. I loved seeing the photos of your family all dressed up for the party. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

    The sculpture of Jessica is amazing. You have such a wonderful husband to give such a thoughtful gift. Hugs to you, as always!!!

  5. It sounds like a fun week of celebrating but it must be so hard though reaching these milestone without Jessica.
    Your birthday party outfit was fab and your mums was brilliant too! It sounds like you had a wonderful evening.
    That sculpture of Jessica is beautiful! Such a thoughtful gift. x

  6. Happy Birthday! all the costumes look fabulous 😀
    The sculpture of Jessica is beautiful 🙂
    Sophie proving the point that it isn’t a birthday party unless you have chocolate all over your face is brilliant 😀

  7. Happy 40th Louise, it sounds like you have done lots of celebrating, omg how many brothers and sisters have you got? I love your mums outfit she looks amazing, and Sophie’s face in the pic is priceless. What a beautiful gift its just lovely, it must be as hard as it is a celebration, I cant imagine what you are going through x

  8. I don’t even know where to begin with this comment. Firstly, you look amazing, I’m glad you had fun! I can promise you that turning 40 is not as bad as it seems, except the aches and pains that become more noticeable. I honestly can’t know how you feel, missing Jessica at this time, but I think it’s wonderful that your husband got you that statue, so she could be a part of your birthday xx

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