August has been a bit of a funny month. We’ve had some more intense periods of family time together and lots of time with hubby either working away or working long hours. It feels like it’s been a bit of a ‘feast or famine’ time with regards to family time together. Emotionally it’s been another up and down month. I am sure I say that every month these days, but then I guess everything feels very up and down, and topsy-turvy since Jessica died, and I think it always will be that way.
We spent six days going from home to John O’Groats, then down to Land’s End, and back home again. Five days of travelling on trains and buses for our JoGLE for Jessica (with a short break in Glasgow in the middle of the trip). Sophie and Thomas both coped well with all the travelling. It was a fun adventure but very bittersweet. Last time we did this kind of journey, we were doing it the other way round and Jessica was with us. So many memories. How we wished we could have been doing a JoGLE with Jessica instead of in her memory.
Sophie, Thomas and I had “JoGLE for Jessica” T-shirts printed. The photo of Jessica on our T-shirts is from our LEJOG adventure with Jessica. She loved our train journeys so much that when we stepped off the train for the last time at our local station, she asked when we were going on a train again. One of our last family days out with her was a different train journey – a trip on the Isle of Wight steam railway. We took a family selfie on the train – the last selfie we took of the four of us.
We had a few people ask us along the way what our JoGLE for Jessica was all about. It gave us an opportunity to share Jessica’s story. I know that people can often feel awkward when they ask us about our family and learn that our eldest daughter died. Sometimes they apologise for asking the question – as if they somehow should have known. The thing is, we love to talk about Jessica. We love to share memories and talk about what a wonderful and special little girl she was. She is part of our family and always will be. And it hurts to know that other people who don’t know who Jessica was see us as a family of four. Two children – “one of each”. When there should be five of us. Our children are not a pair, but two-thirds of a trio.
Hubby had a significant birthday this month – catching me up as he turned forty. He was away working in New York on his actual birthday but we had a garden party before he left. Another fun, but bittersweet day. We feel the absence of Jessica every single day but especially so at special times like this.
Overall, it’s been a fun summer though. I’ve really enjoyed having Sophie home for the school holidays and being able to have that time with her and Thomas together. We’ve had so many days out, and ticked off nearly everything on her summer holidays activity list. Just a couple more things left which I’m hopeful we’ll manage to do before school starts back next week. I’ll miss my baby girl when she goes back to school. I’m sure Thomas will miss having his sister around during the day too.