At the risk of sounding like an organised and sentimental freak (those of you that know me are already aware of this๐) I'm going to put this out there... Every year since 2012 I have created an annual family album, featuring many happy memories since Suki arrived in the world.
Holidays, birthdays, trips to the park, days at the beach, first steps, first shoes, first day at nursery, first day at school. Funny antics, happy days, simple times recording life as our family took shape and started to grow.
When 2017 and Suki's diagnosis struck I was very reluctant to even think of the idea of creating a lasting visual record of all the events that were then to follow. I did, however, continue to take photos daily, as most parents now do.
This time recording lengthy hospital stays, insane plates of food as steroids took effect, rapid weight loss as the appetite vanished, hair loss, complete baldness, hair regrowth and many other physical changes.
Port access, general anaesthetics, blood transfusions, endless IV meds, needles and pokes.
Easter eggs hunts in hospital rooms, Father Christmas visiting, new friends made on the hospital wards, proud moments presenting her ever-growing string of Beads of Courage.
But also birthday parties, trips to the park, moments in school assembly, scooter outings, paddling in the sea, family meals and days together.
There were so many moments recorded, I just couldn't let them pass us by. And so I began to create a 2017 album, only this time there were enough images to fill two albums.
They arrived recently and they are beautiful! A chance for us all to look back on everything that happened last year. So many moments of bravery and milestones overcome. But also a far greater number of 'normal' elements than we anticipated, albeit with a hospital room featuring far more often than we'd wish for.
Whatever happens in the future this album will form a record of everything our family has been through. The happy and sad, the laughter and tears, the unforgettable highs and desperate lows as it shapes us into the family we have become.
And so I will continue in my own freakish way to produce these annual albums for a good while yet...