Friday Focus 26/08/2022 – Memories

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.


The words 'memories'


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:


Sophie and Thomas at a playground; Thomas on the bouncy castle at Daddy's birthday party; Sophie and Thomas playing with the Aquaplay box in the tuff tray in the garden; Sophie and Thomas looking at a model of a T-rex with eggs and a newly hatched baby dinosaur; Sophie and Thomas with the reading challenge certificates and medals; Thomas playing with the toy garage and cars in the tuff tray; Sophie and Thomas with JJ from Cocomelon at Chessington - "#365daysofgratitude 2022 - Week 34"


  • 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”.


A chocolate birthday cake covered in sprinkles


  • Den building and marshmallow toasting at Iver Environment Centre.


Sophie building a den with Thomas inside the den



Two collared doves on a fence


  • Sophie’s delight at being tall enough to go on some of the rides at Chessington by herself.


Sophie on the River Raft ride at Chessington


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16 thoughts on “Friday Focus 26/08/2022 – Memories

  1. It does sound like you have had a wonderful summer and made lots of new memories. Oh gosh, it must have been hard thinking about Jessica’s last day out and the memories. Sending love and hugs. Lovely photos and happy belated birthday to your husband. The cake does look yummy! x

  2. Lovely new memories and heart wrenching ones too. One day I’m sure there will be less pain when you remember the ‘last’ times with Jessica. The love you have for her is so strong. I’m glad you have had a lovely summer and I hope that this next tide of grief is a little easier on you.

    1. Thank you Anne. It’s been a tough few weeks but there have been happy memories made too.

  3. You’ve certainly had a busy summer making some lovely new memories to balance the old ones. I know Jessica is very present in everything you do. Sending a hug for the days to come. On a lighter note I absolutely agree with Sophie that sprinkles need taste testing to ensure ultimate yummyness!

  4. It good that Sophie’s able to talk about her feelings and grief with you about her sister.

    That cake looks really tasty. And how cool that Sophie can go on rides on her own. Brave of her to go on the flume alone!

    1. It is good that she’s able to talk. We’ve talked a lot about grief recently, especially over the last week with Jessica’s birthday and the death of the Queen.

  5. Happy birthday to your husband.

    Aww it must have been hard to relive the painful memories but good that Sophie can express how she is feeling.

    1. Thank you, it is good that Sophie is able to talk. We’ve done a lot of talking recently about grief, especially in the last week with Jessica’s birthday and the news about teh Queen’s death.

  6. I can’t begin to imagine the pain you go through when you relive so many precious moments of `Jessica and it must be so hard to comfort Sophie. Lovely she has such nice memories of her sister to hold onto.
    Happy belated birthday to your husband x

    1. Some of the memories are really tough. I’m glad that Sophie is able to talk about her memories and that we are able to grieve together.

  7. Much as it is hard, I love that Jessica is still very much part of your family and talked about all the time. I can understand why Chessington was hard, maybe that song came on to help let you know that she was there with you too

    1. Jessica is very much part of all we do. I did think at the time that the song might have been a little sign from Jessica, even though it was emotional to hear it.

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