Siblings – February 2020

Standing in the garden, I listen to the giggles as Sophie and Thomas play peek-a-boo together in the play house. I watch as Sophie pushes her little brother around in the Little Tikes car. Back indoors, she picks up the iPad and I see two little heads bent together over the screen. Little moments that send me straight back in time to when there were two little sisters doing all of those things together.

 

Sophie standing leaning against a tree, holding a photo of Jessica in front of her, and Thomas's hand as he stands next to her with a field of snowdrops surrounding them - "Siblings - February 2020"

 

It feels so strange at times to relive those moments but with a different pair of siblings. Sophie and Thomas’s sibling bond is always viewed through the prism of our old life. The normality of life with two children. A life that is always so very familiar but feels so wrong because it should have been a life with three. That as much as I love seeing that beautiful bond between Sophie and Thomas, it always makes my heart ache for the bonds that have been lost; the moments that should have been shared with Jessica; the life that can never be.

 

I am so glad that Sophie has such a beautiful bond with Thomas, just like she did with Jessica. I am glad that she is not on her own; that she has a sibling who is gradually becoming more able to play with her. But oh, how I wish that Thomas could have known both his sisters and that I could have seen that same bond growing between him and Jessica too. But she is there in the little things that Sophie does and says that are an echo of things that Jessica once did and said; she is there in the laughter and the giggles and the moments of calm. The love that Jessica shared with Sophie is still there in the love that Sophie shares with Thomas. Jessica will always be part of the bond they share.

 

Sophie standing leaning against a tree, holding a photo of Jessica in front of her, and Thomas's hand as he stands next to her with a field of snowdrops surrounding them

 

Thomas (1 year 6 months)

  • Got his first pair of proper walking shoes.
  • Received a trophy in memory of Jessica for our journey from John O’Groats to Lands End last year.
  • Had his first trip to the barbers and was very good at sitting still to have his hair cut.
  • Is adding more and more new words to his vocabulary each day. One of his latest ones is “Sofa” (Sophie). I love that Thomas calls her Sofa just like Jessica did when Sophie was a baby.
  • Love cake and biscuits. It so reminds me of Jessica – she was a little cake monster too!

 

Sophie standing leaning against a tree, holding a photo of Jessica in front of her, and Thomas's hand as he stands next to her with a field of snowdrops surrounding them

 

Sophie (6 years 3 months)

  • Has moved up another reading level at school and is now on purple books.
  • Got a “WOW of the Week” certificate for excellent work in English.
  • Had a great time making pizza at her friend’s pizza party.
  • Has been enjoying playing with her friends in the park after school.
  • Was thrilled to have her photo put on the “proud wall” at school after telling her class during ‘Show and Tell’ about Thomas getting a trophy and sharing the photo of her receiving a trophy three years ago for being the youngest child to travel from Lands End to John O’Groats that year.

 

Sophie standing leaning against a tree, holding a photo of Jessica in front of her, and Thomas's hand as he stands next to her looking at the photo of Jessica, with a field of snowdrops surrounding them

Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)

  • I spotted Jessica’s name written in the clouds when glancing out of the window one afternoon recently which made me smile.
  • We planted a snowdrop in memory of Jessica on a walk around West Wycombe Park, organised by Child Bereavement UK.
  • It was lovely to see a whole album of ‘new’ photos of Jessica recently thanks to Action Medical Research. They were taken four years ago as part of a collaboration with them to help raise awareness into research that Action Medical Research were funding to help improve surgical outcomes for children with HLHS.

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