Three years ago today we set out on an adventure. A trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats by bus and train. Jessica and Sophie were 4 and 2 at the time. We weren’t sure whether four days of bus and train travel with small children would be fun or a bit of a nightmare, but either way it would be an adventure. As it turned out, it was a lot of fun on the whole. As Jessica got off the train back at home, she asked when we were going on the train again. She loved it.
We have just returned from doing the same challenge in reverse. Travelling from John O’Groats to Land’s End by bus and train. Taking a more leisurely pace this time – six days instead of four. Travelling with a 5-year old and a 12-month old. Once again wondering if it would turn out to be fun or a nightmare. Once again, the adventure proved to be a fun one. Bittersweet, but fun. Our JoGLE for Jessica. How we wished it could have been a JoGLE with Jessica instead.
Last time, the girls were able to play together which helped keep them amused. The way they could help entertain each other to some extent made the long journeys a little easier. Thomas is too little to be distracted by games or sit and play with toys for very long. Sophie was good at helping to keep him amused, holding his hands a few times and walking up and down the carriage with him. And as lovely as it is to watch the way Thomas adores her, and how she takes great delight in his little milestones, there is always that realisation that this was not how it should have been. That there should have been a third member of this sibling trio who would have helped to keep both her siblings entertained on the journey too. And who would have delighted in the adventure.
And as always, we carried her with us. Forever in our hearts. And on the front of her siblings’ T-shirts. Part of the adventure whilst being so very much missed from it too.
Thomas (1 years 0 months)
- Had a lovely first birthday and enjoyed all the cuddles at his party.
- Now has eight teeth through – four at the top and four at the bottom.
- Is very confident at cruising now and is beginning to be able to stand on his own.
- Had his one-year immunisations and was very unimpressed about it!
Sophie (5 years 9 months)
- Enjoyed taking part in her ballet show and was awarded a trophy in memory of her big sister.
- Is loving being home for the holidays and working through some of the things on our summer activities list.
- Has been enjoying being back at Tiny Talk and going to the summer special classes with Thomas.
- Is really enjoying rehearsals for The Sound of Music and making friends with her Von Trapp siblings.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- We received the report from St Peter’s Chertsey investigating their care in the run-up to Jessica’s death. It confirms that the care Jessica received was adequate and appropriate and Southampton was happy with it. Communication between Trusts was flagged up as needing improvement and while the report stated that perhaps Jessica could have been transferred to our local hospital (who knew her) rather than discharged home, they felt that this would not have changed the outcome. The report states that Jessica died from viral pneumonia, but gives us no further insight into why she collapsed so suddenly and unexpectedly, and stated that an arrhythmia was unlikely. We are left only with the conclusion that her heart just couldn’t cope with the series of viruses that she had and have resigned ourselves to the fact that there will always be unanswered questions.