I thought of you…

Every year, the month of February can be a little emotionally challenging for me. Tomorrow will be the 24th of February 2019 and my first born child Jessica, would have been 32 years old. The weeks leading up to this day can often be harder than the day of her birth itself. I’m not really sure why, perhaps it’s the anticipation of reaching yet another milestone, or the fact that it’s a reminder that time passing and there is still so much I haven’t yet done, to honour her legacy.


I’ve just returned from a fundraising trek across the South Island of New Zealand, and those who know me well, know that being at one with nature is quite a sacred space for me. The mountains of New Zealand had a certain energy about them… and I thought of Jessica a lot.

Years ago, as I climbed the stairs of the Great Wall of China, I thought of her.

As I fought my way through the jungles of Kokoda, I thought of her.

As I walked the ancient Inca Trail, I thought of her.

As I meandered through the villages along the El Camino Trail, I thought of her.

This time, in New Zealand, as I kayaked Milford Sound, walked on a glacier, climbed endless majestic mountains and challenged my body and mind, I thought of her more than I ever have. I saw people come together for a common purpose and challenge their own bodies and minds and the transformation of each individual was beautiful to watch. The dynamics of the group changed with each passing day and as each physical challenge was conquered. Being a ‘connector’, this made my heart sing.

The whole experience of these treks and contributing to the community makes my heart sing and this is the legacy of Jessica.

From heartbreak… to heart singing. She inspires me to do the things I do. Year after year.

Bringing people together, connecting people and connecting with people, particularly when it is for a charitable purpose, is at the heart of my motivation to keep Jessica’s legacy alive. She brought many people together in her short time on this earth… I will continue to do the same, until the day I die.

So on the eve of the 32nd anniversary of the day you graced us with your presence, I celebrate you darling Jessica. For four short months, I loved you, I held you and willed you to stay with us. This wasn’t to be, and losing you was hard. But I thank you for giving me the strength, courage and determination to live the fullest life that I possibly can. If not for you… I wouldn’t be me.


  One thought on “I thought of you…

  1. Ian Olsen
    February 23, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    I have met you through our combined efforts to travel, explore and support those in need. You are a remarkable woman who has done so much for so many and you amaze me with your drive. I have been lucky to not have lost a child but I can only imagine how hard that could be. Maybe that is the inspiration for ability to do all the great stuff you do. Meeting you has certainly made me a better person and I’m sure there are many out that would say the same. Thanks for being part of my adventures and I’m sure there will be more.

  2. Mark O’Dwyer
    February 23, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    Each year at this time I read and am inspired by a new episode of your adventures & recollections & it brings back the memory of finding my second born son Phillip dead in his crib early on Sunday morning on the 12th May 1977. His death was treated a suspicious, SIDS was not acknowledged back then & little was known about it.
    I recall the pain I felt in my heart as I carried his tiny coffin into the church at his funeral, and I recall Ann and I undergoing intense interrogation before it was found there were no suspicious circumstance. Ann & I struggled to maintain our relationship following Phillips death, I’m told that’s not uncommon. Ann and I separated the following year. Recently Ann I reunited to farewell our eldest son John following his suicide. Phillip would have been 42 on the 6th September this year. Like you, I have tried to devote my life to making a difference to those in need, in memory of Phillip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: