April used to be one of my favourite months of the year, with the days becoming warmer and spring feeling very much in the air. These days, April is a tough month for us as a family with the anniversary of Jessica’s death on 14th April. Two years without our beautiful big girl. Sometimes we wonder how we’ve managed to get through two years without her. But here we are, two years on, still missing her as much as we ever did whilst acknowledging that life does, and has to, go on. Reminding ourselves that it’s okay to be happy; that Jessica would want us to be happy. Trying to share joy in memory of our little joy-carrier because whenever I think of Jessica, I see her beautiful big beaming smile and the way she lived life with such zest, spreading sunshine wherever she went. Jessica’s legacy is love and joy and sunshine. And in spite of that ever-present heartache that is so very close to the surface in April, there is sunshine and spring and the reminder that it is okay to enjoy those things, and that doing so does not mean we love or miss Jessica any less.
Like many other people, we’ve been staying in our little lockdown bubble; only venturing out of our home for the occasional shopping trip or a walk outside. We’ve been coping well on the whole with this. Sophie has taken to home-schooling much better than I thought she might. She does miss her friends though and it’s also brought home how much she misses her sister too. It was hard not to be able to visit Jessica at GreenAcres on the anniversary of her death. The team at GreenAcres kindly put flowers in her vase for us and sent photos. To know that someone stood there and thought of her when we were unable to do so ourselves meant a lot.
We joined in with 25 other heart families to walk a mile each and raise money for Little Hearts Matter as part of the 2.6 challenge. It was lovely to get out for a family walk in the sunshine and help a charity close to our hearts in the process. They’ve been a great source of information and support from the very start of our heart family journey and continue to provide support to us as a bereaved family.
One of the positive things about life in lockdown has been having so much family time together. It can be quite a juggling act at times with both hubby and me working from home as well as trying to keep the children entertained. There have definitely been a few moments where nerves have become frazzled! But on the whole, it has been lovely to have so much family time together. We’re so used to Daddy working long hours and working away on events. To be able to have him at home for dinner time and bedtime was a luxury and now it’s a daily event. I haven’t spent this much time with him since we were at university together!
It is so lovely for the children to have all that time with Daddy. To watch Sophie sitting at the table doing Aquabeads with Daddy (we’ll just gloss over when he left her to it for a while and came back to a scene of devastation!) and see how his bond with Thomas has really grown over the last few weeks is wonderful. To have that extra pair of hands around when needed. Oh yes, there are some things I’ll miss when this is over. Although I’m really looking forward to being able to see my mum and siblings again. We’re such a close family and I’ve never gone so long without seeing them.
Sophie took the final photo for this month’s Me and Mine. She wanted to take a photo of us all out in the garden. I think she did a good job of it! Perhaps this will become a new way of capturing our family photo each month.