I love the summer holidays on the whole – it’s been lovely having the time with Sophie and Thomas and to focus on having fun and making memories together. We’ve done so many fun things together over the summer. This week has been another full one: travelling back from our holiday, having a garden party to celebrate my husband’s birthday, various outdoor activities and trails, a play date with a friend, finishing the summer reading challenge and collecting certificates and a day out at Chessington.
Our trip to Chessington brought back a lot of memories. I enjoyed a lot of days out there with my girls and the last day out we ever had with Jessica was at Chessington, four days before she died. There are memories of Jessica everywhere we go there. Most of them are happy, if bittersweet, but there are also painful ones from that last day, and the drive home is always hard because I always find myself relieving that last awful journey when we had to suddenly divert to the nearest A&E.
Our day out this week was mostly a fun and happy one, but there were some big grief triggers. Sophie wanted to go on Tiny Truckers, which was the last ride Jessica ever went on. It’s the first time we’ve gone on that ride since that day and I struggled to hold it together as we went round the track. Then on the way home, a song that was very special to us during Jessica’s life came on the radio. It triggered a conversation with Sophie about that last day out and the time around Jessica’s death, and a lot of questions about the night Jessica died, and of course a lot of tears from us both.
Sophie told me that she wished Jessica could have been with us at Chessington so they could have gone on rides together again, that she missed her sister and wanted her back again and asked why God had to make Jessica with a special heart when he could have given her a normal one and she’d still be with us. Some questions just have no answers, and it broke my heart again for all that Sophie has lost and the fact that I can’t make it better, no matter how much I want to, I can’t bring Jessica back and give her the moments with her sister that she has lost.
We’re coming up to the start of the new school year, and Jessica’s birthday and the grief which we live with is starting to push itself back up to the surface. We’ve been busy this summer and suppressed it to some extent, but I know this is the time when the storms start up again. We’ll ride them and get through them as best we can; talking about Jessica, loving Jessica, marking her birthday as we have done before, making her as much a part of our everyday family moments as we can. Holding the memories close and carrying her with us in the new ones we make.
What I’ve been grateful for this week:
- Day 231 – I am grateful for breaking up the journey home with lunch at a pub with a playground.
- Day 232 – I am grateful for everyone who came and helped make it a fun afternoon celebrating hubby’s birthday.
- Day 233 – I am grateful for an afternoon enjoying some water play in the garden.
- Day 234 – I am grateful for a dinosaur hunt in Black Park.
- Day 235 – I am grateful for libraries.
- Day 236 – I am grateful for a quiet afternoon in the garden with Thomas while Sophie enjoyed her play date with her friend.
- Day 237 – I am grateful for a fun day out at Chessington World of Adventures with Sophie and Thomas.
Other things that have made me smile this week:
- Sophie ‘taste-testing’ the sprinkles when making Daddy a birthday cake to make sure they were “yummy and delicious”.
- Den building and marshmallow toasting at Iver Environment Centre.
- Sitting in the garden watching the birds. There’s a giveaway on my blog this week to win a bird feeding bundle from Happy Beaks.
- Sophie’s delight at being tall enough to go on some of the rides at Chessington by herself.