Remembering Jessica: a special birthday picnic

Jessica’s birthday was always such a milestone moment. As well as being her birthday, it was also one of her heart days – the anniversary of her first open heart surgery. A day full of excitement, watching the joy on Jessica’s face as she opened her cards and presents and feeling thankful for being blessed to have another year with our beautiful girl.


The first birthday without Jessica was always going to be a particularly hard one. The run-up to it was tough. No cards to buy, no presents, no excited little girl counting down the sleeps. But there was one thing that I knew I had to do to mark my big girl’s birthday. I had to make her a cake. A special “Kerry cake” – recreating her favourite toy in cake form. She would have absolutely loved that cake.


Jessica's "Kerry" birthday cake with a photo of Jessica at her forever bed - "Remembering Jessica: a special birthday picnic"


Jessica’s birthday coincided with Sophie’s first day at school, which made it extra-emotional. Sophie found that first morning so hard. She cried and told us that she didn’t want to go to school without Jessica. It is so hard seeing her so sad and missing her sister, knowing that there is nothing we can do to make it better.


Thankfully, that first day at school went well. We were greeted by a very smiley Sophie at pick-up time, telling us that she loves her new school. She was also very excited to see Nanny and Auntie Loraynne who had come up to celebrate Jessica’s birthday with us. We had planned to take Jessica’s cake to GreenAcres and have a little picnic next to her forever bed.


Sophie and Auntie Loraynne having a stick sword fight


The excitement of the first day at school combined with seeing Nanny and Auntie Loraynne made for a very excitable little Sophie. Having a stick sword-fight with Auntie Loraynne helped to burn off some of her extra energy though before we made our way over to visit Jessica.


Hubby, me, Sophie and Thomas with a picture of Jessica and her birthday cake at her forever bed


Nanny, Auntie Loraynne and Sophie at Jessica's forever bed


At Jessica’s forever bed, we put some fresh flowers in her vase, set up the picnic blanket and lit the candle on the cake. We sang Happy Birthday and Sophie blew out the candle.


Sophie blowing out the candle on Jessica's birthday cake


I had brought the bubble machine with me so that we could have some bubbles while we ate the birthday cake. Unfortunately I hadn’t checked to make sure that it was actually working! Thankfully we did have a bubble wand and Sophie was quite happy to blow bubbles for a while.


Sophie blowing bubbles


The weather had been dry and mostly sunny during the day, but we did have a brief shower as we sat and ate Jessica’s birthday cake. The rain seemed to fit in with our feeling of sadness that Jessica wasn’t there to celebrate her birthday.


Sophie enjoying some of Jessica's birthday cake


Although there was a lot of sadness, we did try to make Jessica’s birthday picnic positive too. We remembered happier moments and enjoyed eating cake. Sophie was full of smiles and helped bring some sunshine into our sadness. It felt like a special way to mark Jessica’s birthday and to remember her.


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24 thoughts on “Remembering Jessica: a special birthday picnic

  1. What a lovely way to celebrate Jessica’s birthday. And what a wonderful cake too. I am glad to hear that Sophie had a good first day at school, I hope that her second week has got off to a good start.

    1. Thank you Jenni, I was so pleased with how the cake turned out. Sophie is enjoying her second week so far 🙂

  2. Such a lovely way to remember Jessica on her birthday and that cake is amazing, I bet she would have loved it. I’m so glad Sophie had a good day at school in the end, such a difficult time for her and it sound like she is a real comfort to you all.

    1. Thank you Nat. I’m so glad the cake turned out well – Jessica would have loved it. It was such a relief that Sophie enjoyed school and yes, she is a little ray of sunshine for us x

  3. That was such a lovely way to remember Jessica on her birthday….I bet she would have loved the cake.
    I hope Sophie is settling in well at school. x

    1. Thank you Kim. Jessica would have been so pleased with that cake. Sophie is settling in well, thank you x

  4. What a lovely thing to do. It seems like absolutely the right way to celebrate Jessica’s birthday. The cake you made is amazing and it’s lovely to see Sophie smiling despite it being such an emotional day for you all. X

    1. Thank you Sarah. I wanted to be with Jessica and to try to celebrate as best we could x

  5. Oh my what a day of high and low emotions with Jessica’s birthday and Sophie’s first day at school. Jessica’ forever bed was the obvious place for you all to go and my goodness she would have adored that cake. This was always going to be a very tough day for you all, looks like you did so much together to ease the pain and Sophie’s delight at school a welcome lift for you all I’m sure. #CountryKids

    1. Thank you. It was so important to me to mark her birthday in some way and this felt like the right way to do so x

    1. Thank you Louise. It was a hard day but it was so important to us to celebrate Jessica’s birthday in some way x

  6. It certainly sounds like one emotional day. you are very talented making that Kerry cake and I’m sure she’d have loved it. #countrykids

  7. Its a lovely way to celebrate here birthday! I can only imagine the different emotions you are feeling that day. A very happy birthday to your lovely Angel =)


  8. Oh Louise I dont know how you all do it I think I sobbed all through this post. You really are a true inspiration and deserve that award ten times over. I think this is a lovely way to celebrate Jessica’s birthday and I hope Sophie continues to enjoy school xx

    1. Thank you Clare and sorry to make you cry. It did feel like the right way for us to celebrate Jessica’s birthday x

  9. Gosh what an emotional day and a special way to celebrate Jessica’s birthday. You’re so strong to do the things you do, and good to see you keeping the family community close for support. Huge love #CountryKids

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