It has been an absolute honour today to receive a delivery from Dame Jess Ennis Hill! I feel so privileged and I know Jess Weaver would have been so incredibly excited. It’s fair to say Jess and I watched a lot of the 2012 olympics together (well I did as she was a baby!) and seeing another Sheffield girl run so well gave me the inspiration I needed to get back to exercise…. never did I think only 8 years later I’d receive a gift from her in the post. From one Yorkshire Jess in memory of another. What an honour.
Now for the challenge of raising as much money as we can via auction for Children with Cancer UK.
Tomorrow is another first…. Jess’ first birthday not being here 💔. Jess would have been 9, except as she’s not with us anymore I’m calling it 8+1.
So unlike in years gone by, we won’t be blowing up balloons, excitedly waking up at 5am to open gifts and presents or lighting candles on a cake. But we will celebrate all the wonderful memories, the determined spirit, the mischievous games Jess used to adore, the endless love and cuddles and the unwavering bravery Jess showed. To mark the occasion, we’ll be taking a walk on the beach, something Jess loved to do and donating to Children with Cancer UK.
And of course, in what has become a post Jess way of coping, I’ve added a birthday poem to the growing collection. Here’s hoping wherever she is, she knows we’re celebrating her short but very precious time with us. ❤️
Happy Birthday Jess! 🍰 🎈 🎁
Today you would have been nine years old
Half way to an adult, I would have been told
Except for the fact you’re not here any more
So eight + one is your new age score
A few things have happened since you passed away
But we still miss you lots, every single day.
With us in spirit, I know that you are
With your ring on my finger, you’re never very far
We’ve been building a legacy, so we all remember you
To be honest, it’s helped us know what to do
We’ve built you a website, in your name
I think you would have like the minor fame
We’re fundraising lots, £17k raised already
The increase in funds has been nice and steady
So many charities to support, that we could choose
All of who, our support could use.
I’ve told your tale to spread the word
I’ve wanted to make sure that we got heard
You’ve been on Websites, in magazines and have a song too
So many ways we’re remembering you.
Ideas are a plenty from your old school
I think you’ll think they’re all rather cool
A tree, a bench and an annual award too
It’s fair to say they won’t forget you
So today, for your birthday, we’re off to the coast
It’s seems a fitting way, your birthday to toast
I’ll play a few pranks, which I know you would have done
And we’ll try to make sure, we have lots of fun
So happy birthday Jess, my mini me.
I hope that you’re ok, wherever you may be.
I hope somewhere you’re celebrating too
And watching how much we still miss you.
This week has been another first and another hurdle for us; our first family holiday since Jess passed away. It’s fair to say it’s not easy making new memories without Jess, so we chose to very much keep her memory present with us all the time and visit a part of Dorset not too far from Jess’ last holiday. In an impressive motor home that became our home on wheels for the week, we’ve loved exploring the stunning coastline and beaches of the Jurassic coast, with an honorary Team Jess mascot with us (AKA one of Jess’ favourite teddies). No substitution for the bundle of fun that would have been Jess with us of course, although definitely easier to keep still to take a photograph of! I think being adventurous herself, Jess would have liked that we tried to take her with us to explore some of Dorset’s marvellous natural wonders, especially the adventure of Portland Bill and old Harry’s rocks. And she definitely would have liked the quirkiness of a motor home and having to climb into a bed above a steering wheel! So whilst we missed Jess dearly, it’s fair to say we enjoyed the holiday in Jess style. Looking forward to next year’s ‘E’ trip.
It’s 9 months today since Jess passed away and coincidentally 9 days since we launched team Jess. I’ve been reflecting on where we are in one of my favourite and new found ways – a poem. Click here to have a read
Welcome to Team Jess, a website dedicated to one of my very most favourite people in the whole world, who aged 8, was taken suddenly by the side effects of Leukaemia. This website aims to document ‘life after Jess’, from the fundraising, to the memories, to the day to day challenges of losing a child. If you would like to get in touch, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.