As with the Siblings project earlier this month, I’ve decided to share a Me and Mine post this month with the final photos of our family enjoying time together. This month started with us on holiday on the Isle of Wight. The WiFi was rubbish, the phone reception was poor and so we switched off from the outside world and just enjoyed that quality time together. I am so very glad we did.
It wasn’t a perfect holiday. We were concerned about Jessica’s lack of energy and general malaise but she seemed to improve as the week went on which was encouraging. Our pace throughout the week was a leisurely one. Normally we completely pack out our days on holiday – going here and there, visiting different places, doing lots of different things. This time, we took it slowly. Staying in a cottage made it easier to allow Jessica to rest if she needed to. We often didn’t venture out until very late morning. It wasn’t about how many adventures we could pack in. Just about being together – the four of us (plus Peanut!). We were content and we were complete.
One week after our return, that completeness was abruptly shattered. There is now a huge Jessica-shaped hole in our family. We are no longer complete; nor will we ever be so again. That holiday was our last planned one as a family of four as we looked forward to becoming a family of five. We will now never know what life as five would have been like. Jessica was so excited about Peanut, so looking forward to having a new sibling. A new sibling that she will now never meet. I am glad though that she did have a moment of connecting with Peanut on our holiday. She was lying with her head on my bump one day on our holiday, enjoying a snuggle when Peanut started moving. “Mummy, Peanut’s kicking my head!” she said, with a smile.
April started off so beautifully and finished up being the most terrible month of our lives. Despite how hard April has been, I wish I could hold on to it still. Tomorrow I will turn the calendar for the start of a new month. A month that never had Jessica in it. The first of many such months, of endless days that we must learn to navigate as best we can.
We are still a family even though we are forever incomplete. Sophie keeps us going and we are trying to keep as much normality in her life as we can. All being well, we will be blessed with another bundle of joy in the summer. There will be happy moments to come, even if underneath it all there will remain the constant ache of what we have lost. Jessica will always be part of our family life. We will tell Peanut all about her and we will help Sophie keep the memories of her big sister alive. We will miss Jessica terribly for the rest of our lives but we will carry her in our hearts wherever we go.