School has broken up for Christmas and I have two very excited people who are counting down the days and looking forward to Christmas Day. It’s a tough time of year – trying to keep that Christmas magic for Sophie and Thomas while also making space for Jessica and allowing time for grief. Putting up the Christmas tree is a particularly emotional one as we bring out all the special decorations with the children’s names on, the little things they’ve made over the years and the ones that are in memory of our beautiful big girl as we topped our tree with our ‘Jessica angel’. And while it means so very much to know that our big girl is remembered and included in all these little festive moments, it also comes with intense sadness that she isn’t physically here getting excited about Christmas with her sister and brother.
We’ve continued with our annual tradition of our special Christmas card featuring a photo of our children together. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll keep this tradition going – it is getting harder now to come up with an idea that works with all three of them, as Sophie and Thomas grow up and Jessica remains frozen in time. I’ll keep it going as long as I can but I know that there will come a time when it will come to an end.
It is lovely to look back on all the different photos taken over the years though.
The same is true with these monthly Sibling photos. There will come a time when it feels right to bring it to a natural end, and I’m sensing that time is getting closer. It’s a lovely way of capturing the children together as they grow up, but it’s also a painful reminder that one of my trio is not growing up and never will. It doesn’t feel right to exclude Jessica from these monthly photos – there are three of them in this sibling group even if there are only two here on earth with me.
We’ve managed another year of Siblings photos though. Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening this month, followed by a look-back at our Siblings photos over the last year.
Thomas (4 years 4 months)
- Has been loving counting down the days to Christmas and finding the numbers on his advent calendars each day.
- Has been enjoying all the fun activities at the end of the Christmas term – including a Santa visit and a theatre trip.
- Was a very adorable little angel in his Reception nativity play and got a ‘Wow of the Week’ at school for ‘showing his school spirit in the nativity play and giving it a go’.
- Enjoyed dressing up as an elf for his last dance class of term and having Mummy come and watch.
Sophie (9 years 1 month)
- Was very happy that Father Christmas sent an elf this year. Mummy was also happy that the elf was a toy one for Sophie to play with and not one that was going to create havoc through December!
- Enjoyed playing Mary in our scratch nativity at church.
- Has enjoyed getting to see three pantos in the run-up to Christmas and catching up with one of her ‘von Trapp siblings’ at one of them.
- Has been performing in various end-of-term performances with the school choir, her drama group and the rock band she performs in at school. It’s been lovely to be able to watch her in some of these performances too.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- I made Jessica her Christmas wreath and took it to her forever bed. A little robin came over and started enjoying the berries on the wreath while I was sitting there. It made smile and made me feel that Jessica was there with me, letting me know she liked her wreath.
- It was lovely to have a message from a friend to let me know that the ‘Jessica/Jack has a heart operation’ books that I wrote are being used in the children’s theatres at the hospital where Jessica was treated. She loved her book that Mummy wrote to help prepare her for her heart surgery. It means so much to know that Jessica’s story is still helping others.