They say the first year, the first time you experience these significant dates and events with out the one you have lost are the hardest…the most painful, the most anxiously anticipated. Most of your energy is spent enduring the first year, just getting through and making it over the death date (and in this case birth date too), because if you can survive loss and all those anniversaries held in the 12 months following then you know you can do it for every year of life after that.
We are not quite at a full year mark but from what I have experienced this year it certainly has been a test of endurance, draining, a trek and a hope just to get to the year mark (as if its all down hill from there!!). My goal has always been, no matter how lost I feel or difficult things become, to try and live life to the full and have moments that bring Joy!
Living life to the full despite the huge problems that we face isn’t an easy task especially when most months you are plagued with reminders of the ‘what should have been’s’ as well as a pained heart and broken dreams. Yes it isn’t easy (not at all), but nor is it impossible. Some days I want to hide away…cry…not get dressed, but thankfully with each day that passes these days are fewer and so as I work to have joy in my life and make the most of it despite these weighty problems I can say that this year of painful, difficult firsts has also been a year with some happy firsts and this week especially we had a good helping of those to see us through…we shared in lots of smiles, made memories and made this 1st year without Poppy one we will remember for some good firsts as well as the hard ones we have no control over.
First time Iv’e won something
Last week I went nuts when I opened my email to see that I had won a family ticket to see Ben & Holly LIVE after entering it on Yorkshire tots a couple of weeks. I couldn’t believe it. I have NEVER won anything and it shows where we are at in life when a kids TV show gone live makes us leap for joy. We were also happy and excited, which leads me onto the next first …
Megan’s First trip to the Theatre
Ethan went to the Northern ballet of peter pan last christmas with his grandparents and cousin and me and my sister in law, but as Megs was a little young and wild she wasn’t able to. Now at 3 and with the prize of a family ticket to a very kid friendly show, it meant that of course we all got to go. She was most curios and took it all in and then when the theme music started and curtains came up her jaw dropped in awe and glee filled her face…she loved it and I had a small tear in my eye as I saw the enjoyment flood her little body!
I don’t know when we would have taken Megsie to the Theatre otherwise, I expect a christmas Panto, but this came at an excellent time and both her and E were SOOOO happy to be there!
First giant sand castle and sand boat
I remember as a kid loving every summer on the beach with my cousins, playing whilst our dad’s dug HUGE sandcastles with garden shovels…they were epic! I couldn’t wait to do the same with my own kids and luckily Nath has memories of doing the same and building sand boats and cars (remember those?). So this last week as he had some annual leave, and despite the breezey summer weather we headed to the beach with my sister, husband and kids and spent the afternoon building their 1st epic sand castle and 1st sand boat…needless to say they loved it!
First trip to the “Rides” (Amusement park)
We also used to look forward to having an evening at the Rides as kids and now that our own are a little older and a little more daring we took them to Bridlington sea front and treated them to a doughnut and a couple of rides each…of course they’ve been to Alton towers and on the tacky 50p/£1 rides in arcades and shops, but this was the start of something new, a tradition had by us for years and so many childhood memories. It was their 1st time on rides in that setting, on a dodgem with Daddy and making ride memories with cousins. It was fun!
First Fishing nets
Bought from Filey Tesco for a bargainous 50p, we got them their very own fishing net for the first time ever in their life! They had hours of fun with their grandparents and cousins looking for crabs and sea creatures. Its something they have done loads before, but this time was made that little bit more special because they had their own nets!
First wetsuit for Megs
We all have them, we all love the water and extreme activities on the coast and so it was only a matter of time before Megs was old enough to get her own wetsuit. Kids will not be a reason not to do what we enjoy when they can come along for the adventure too. We bought this little beaut off my sister for £3 and Megsies life was made! Its exciting to think of all of the adventures it will enable her to be a part of.
First Bike – For Little E
Ethan has wanted a bike for AGES and realised it was far too long until his birthday to wait for one and so sprung a deal with me that if he earned 40 stickers he could get one. He worked really hard and did just that in about 6 weeks. During this time my dad remembered he had been given a kids bike (he likes to pimp bikes up as a hobby) and so said he would do it up for Little E. He was beyond excited to pick up his first bike this weekend and so were we – it was FREE! GET IN!
Whilst this year and the next couple of months especially bring to us unwanted firsts and painful firsts we cannot let them overshadow the exciting firsts that are ever present in our lives too. There are and have been many difficult firsts as we grieve loosing Poppy, but the firsts this year are not all bad, some are the beginning of many adventures in the life of our little family unit and are the exciting memories being created for Ethan and Megs as siblings with their cousins and each other.