One of our Christmas traditions is to create a festive photo of the children together. I enjoyed coming with different ideas for festive scenes, particularly once I started getting to grips with Photoshop and playing around with backgrounds. I’m thankful that Photoshop gives me a way of creating photos of the three of my children together as I never got to experience what life would have been like with them together in reality.
It gets a little harder to create the photo each year, especially now that Sophie is older than Jessica ever was. While she was older than Jessica in last year’s photo, it wasn’t quite as noticeable as it is now. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be able to keep up this particular tradition but we’ll keep it going as long as Sophie and Thomas are happy to take part and I can find a way to keep including Jessica.
Jessica is always very much a part of our festive season. It’s a tough time of year. She is always very much missed but especially so during particular times of the year. The festive season is very much about finding that balance between making it fun for her siblings whilst also allowing grief the space it needs too.
Thomas (3 years 4 months)
- Had an encouraging report from preschool. He’s a bright little boy and enjoys it there. We’ve had a couple of blips with behaviour and social skills which are being worked on. He’s had much less social interaction with other children his age than his sisters had due to lockdowns and restrictions so it’s understandable. He’ll get there.
- Has had a breakthrough with one thing we were struggling with on the toilet training front and is often staying dry overnight too although we’re not quite brave enough to ditch the night-time pull-ups just yet!
- Is loving getting to eat chocolate from the Advent calendar each morning although would quite like to be able to open more than one window each day.
- Amazed me by reading some of the words in French on screen at our BilinguaSing class.
Sophie (8 years 1 month)
- Enjoyed playing Tinkerbell on stage at the Christmas lights switch-on and in the end of term performance with her drama group.
- Has enjoyed getting to see two pantos in the run-up to Christmas.
- Received a Sportiac award at school for excellent skills with map reading during orienteering.
- Was brilliant at helping look after me and help keep Thomas entertained when I was struggling with vertigo last week.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- Jessica’s name has now been engraved on the British Heart Foundation’s Heart of Steel which is currently on display in Meadowhall Shopping Centre. If you’re visiting, her name is at panel 34, column 7, row 22.
- My poem describing grief as a stormy sea and a photo of Jessica have been included in a book of poems written by bereaved parents.
- We went to the Christmas remembrance service at GreenAcres where we lit a candle for Jessica and laid a Christmas wreath at her forever bed.