April brings sharp reminders (not that we ever forget) of a family life that will always be divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’. A life with two pairs of siblings sharing things together. The reminder that while Jessica, Sophie and Thomas are, and will always be, a trio, they have never been a trio in life. There are no experiences that the three of them shared together.
April is such a mixed month. There are painful memories and the heartbreak that comes with the anniversary of Jessica’s death, but there is also, for Sophie and Thomas at least, the excitement of the Easter holidays, looking forward to family time and doing things together. Grief and joy mixed together, as is very much our normal. The smiles and the happy moments of watching Sophie and Thomas having fun together that always comes with a side order of wondering what those moments would have been like with Jessica there too.
I’m grateful that my trio will always be connected with each other. That although Thomas never knew Jessica, she knew about him as ‘baby Peanut’, and hoped that he would be a little brother. I’m grateful for the memories Sophie has of Jessica that she can share with Thomas, and for the fact that Thomas knows that Jessica is his sister and talks about her as part of his family. I’m grateful for the beautiful memories I have and for the beautiful memories that my children continue to make. It will never be the version of family life that I wish it could be. It’s forever incomplete, but it’s our family life and there is beauty to be found in the moments we share together and the memories we hold in our heart.
Thomas (4 years 8 months)
- Had lots of fun having days out during the Easter holidays and trying new things. He was particularly fascinated by the box of maggots when we tried fishing for the first time.
- Had a trip to A&E during the Easter holidays due to falling out of a tree and bumping his head, but thankfully there were no ill effects other than a few bruises.
- Is currently fascinated by Roman numerals and loves telling us what different numbers are in Roman numerals.
- Has been much happier at school after a change of teacher and things seem to have improved with regards to concerns about behaviour as well.
Sophie (9 years 5 months)
- Loved doing lots of different activities during the Easter holidays and particularly enjoying going sledging at Snozone.
- Loved performing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the Beck Youth Theatre.
- Had a busy week juggling show week and taking part in a dance festival and coped beautifully with it all.
- Has been learning how to rollerblade although unfortunately twisted her knee while practising and had a few days of limping. It’s all healed now but I think we’ll avoid rollerblading in the run up to dance festivals!
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- We marked the fifth anniversary of Jessica’s death with a visit to her forever bed and a day focusing on giving joy for Jessica.