September has been a bittersweet month. The start of the month was a very emotional time with the start of a new school year followed by Jessica’s eighth birthday a couple of days later. New milestones for Sophie and the stark reminder of milestones that Jessica will never reach. Time continues to take us further away from our life with Jessica and as much as we’d like to slow it down and turn back the clock, we have no choice but to keep moving forward, taking our big girl with us as much as we can.
Once again, we marked Jessica’s birthday by taking her flowers and cake to her forever bed and singing Happy Birthday to her there. Celebrating her birthday as best we could and sharing memories through tears and smiles. It isn’t how it should be. But it is what it is, and we live with the ever-present ache of longing and lost as best we can.
There have been other little milestones this month – Thomas taking his first independent steps and Sophie losing her first tooth. The two of them moved into a shared bedroom together. It feels strange to have our room back to ourselves again for the first time in nearly six years. Had things been different, Sophie and Jessica would have been in that bedroom together, and Thomas would still have been in with us. Although to be fair, he still does end up back in with us by morning and if Sophie wakes in the night, she still likes to climb in our bed for a cuddle too. I love the early morning snuggles with both of them. I just wish that it could have been all three. Even if it would have been a very tight squeeze!
It’s been another busy month for hubby, and October looks set to be busier still. We’ve been trying to make the most of family time together when we get it though. One of my favourite things about this time of year is the start of the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. Jessica and Sophie always loved watching it with us and trying to copy some of the routines. We used to have to watch most of the dances three times – once with the girls dancing together to it; once with them wanting to dance with us and then finally we would get to just watch the dancing on the TV!
Thomas seems to be enjoying watching Strictly too. He likes to have a little wriggle in time to the music. Now that he is getting steadier on his feet, Sophie has a new dance partner. It is lovely to watch them together. Reminds me so much of watching the girls. Jessica would be proud.