This week has been extremely harrowing although you’ve been drifting in and out of sleep for most of it, thankfully unaware and oblivious to the heartache, despair and feeling of devastation felt by your Mummy and Daddy, as well as the rest of your loving family. But in the early hours of yesterday morning, when I couldn’t sleep and had been texting your Mummy to check she was ok by your bedside, I decided that I don’t want to start this in the here and now. Over the last day I have spent long hours thinking about you and what I might write about first. It is really important for me that anyone who reads this, knows who you are and what you are like (and definitely NOT ‘were like’) pre-stroke.
Evie, even before you were born, we knew you were going to be extremely special. At this point, I should just say that I’m probably going to give you the impression that you are my favourite niece – this is something that I will neither confirm or deny! You’re all my favourites!! But quite seriously, we already had your gorgeous big sister, Ella, but Mummy and Daddy had to so unfairly kiss baby Freya goodbye. This caused pain I’d never seen before in your Mummy and Daddy; a pain so deep and intense. However, after a storm comes a rainbow. Then came you. The rainbow baby, now our rainbow girl. Rainbows are often symbols of hope and this is exactly what you gave back to your parents. Hope that they could smile again. However, having said that you little tinker, you never seem to do things easily (we’ve definitely learnt that now) and your entrance into the world on 25th June 2008 at 10pm wasn’t straightforward, but you came out full of life and we all fell in love with you.
Right from the word go, you’ve always been a Mummy’s girl, as you quickly gained a reputation for screaming when taken into anyone else’s arms that were not Mummy’s. On occasions, if your screaming demands weren’t met and you weren’t passed back to Mummy immediately, you’d be sick. And I mean sick! Of course Daddy got a look in, but he was the only one. You’ve always had a close bond with Nanny, so she was soon included in your circle of trust. You quickly worked your magic on Granddad, as you managed to wrap him around your little finger and once you were able to talk, you took it upon yourself to affectionately nickname him, ‘Granddy’. However, as a cuddly little baby, I was desperate to give you a squeeze, but as soon as you were in my embrace that little cod fish face appeared. Uncle Damian started to get a complex that you just didn’t like him! As you grew, you got to know us better and we formed close relationships and began making wonderful memories.
We’ve had so many giggles over the years, haven’t we? Right now, they are flickering through my mind as if they were on a movie tape. So, so many happy memories; far too many to record here. We are a small, close-knit family and so spend a lot of time together. I’ll try not to embarrass you too much here, but I’ll mention a few things so that people get an idea of your character.
1.) Mocha, your faithful and loving cuddly companion (thankfully he has a double for wash days!) who gives you comfort, is your favourite toy. Everyday during Reception you would hide him in your school bag in case you ever needed a secret cuddle during the day. Whenever, our family was leaving your house you would have to run upstairs and grab Mocha, so that he could also give everyone a kiss goodbye. Indeed, you are a very loving girl with a caring heart. I have often seen you tending to your little brother, Jack and sister, Ava when you didn’t think anyone was watching.
2.) Dancing – just like Mummy, Auntie Joanne, myself, Ella, Ava and Greta (my daugther), you go to ballet classes and love to dance! It’s a passion! The number of times we come to a family party and you have made up a dance with your sisters to perform to everyone. You take it so seriously and give that little bit extra to those living room performances. Auntie Joanne was only saying yesterday, how there was a time whenever she visited, you would insist that she choreograph a routine with you! In your last ballet show of ‘Pineapple Poll’, I will always remember your portrayal of a cheeky little soldier – perfect casting. I know I’m biased, but you were the littlest on the stage but you had the biggest smile! You have such energy and zest for life, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you walk anywhere, you just seem to bound.
3.) Feisty – you are probably the most determined little girl I know, who doesn’t take any nonsense. Jacob (my son) can be a pickle sometimes and you are the only cousin who can keep him in line. Like last Sunday, when we spent Father’s Day in your garden enjoying the sunshine with a BBQ and splashing in the paddling pool. You certainly gave him a run for his money in that water fight, “Come on Jacob, come on Jacob if you think you can beat me?”
4.) Those dimples! Pretty girl, but you don’t even realise it! (Although, I do keep dropping in how beautiful you are! Auntie’s prerogative!)
5.) Your style – already at quite a young age you definitely have your own sense of style. Whether it be your denim jackets, baseball caps, jeans or checked shirts, you know exactly what you want to wear and you carry it off in typical Evie style. I love the way you have started wearing glasses and this hasn’t worried you at all. In fact you actually like to wear them because you think they make you look intelligent. As if you need glasses for that!!
6.) Fun-loving – you have such a happy nature and look for fun wherever you go. Whether it’s playing ‘Pass the Sprout’ (courtesy of Granddad) at Christmas, dressing up and using your imagination in make believe games, climbing trees or running through the ferns in Bushy Park, there is something about you that seems carefree and ready for adventure. Last summer, you enjoyed scrambling to the top of the climbing wall at the village flower show and you were so excited when you had a bike for your birthday last year. I loved the video that Mummy sent me from your holiday in Switzerland just three weeks ago, where you were swimming in the pool and playing in the water fountains.
7.) ‘I’m hungry…’ – all I’m going to say is that we don’t know where you put it, although Mummy always jokes it goes to your big toe. You’re renowned for being first to request puddings and will always have seconds given the chance. If there was to be a fight over chocolate fingers and party rings, I think you’d win hands down. As a toddler you would devour yoghurt after yoghurt which gave rise to the nickname ‘yoghurt monster’. I’m told that even today, you’ve pinched the McDonalds milkshake that Mummy and Daddy were supposed to be sharing. Your face lit up when you saw the drinks and you actually spat out your pureed dinner! That’s our girl!! #puddinglover #yoghurt #chocoholic #wheredoyouputit
8.) Perfectionist – I think this trait runs in the family, mentioning no names!!! You always try your very best at everything and want to get things right. You are a clever girl and have a head for numbers but you are also creative. You have just started to learn the cornet (I think Mummy and Daddy need ear plugs) alongside the keyboard. Everything that you do has to be done to your high standards and nothing less is acceptable. Your determination to succeed is something you must draw on now, so dig deep little girl and I know you’ll pull through.
9.) Brave – You have certainly been through the mill! When you were four you fell off the slide and badly broke your arm, which resulted in several operations as you had to have it pinned. In December 2015 you were admitted to hospital with meningitis – you had us all worried and you were so poorly. Yet, 9 days after being discharged from hospital, you insisted on taking a ballet exam. What a little fighter you are! Nanny says the ‘Hill Women’ are strong and she always says you’re definitely a Hill. Take that fighting spirit and use it now!
I hope I haven’t embarrassed you too much Evie! I’m sure you’ll get me back if I have! Your family loves you for being you and I wanted everyone to know you just a bit better!
I wish we could go back to last Sunday when you were chasing everyone around the garden, filling up your water pistol from the outside tap (when you were told not to!), pinching my sunglasses and dishing out sweets to your siblings and cousins, making them line up at the door in the process. In less than 24 hours our lives, your life was turned upside down. By the time I publish this it will be your 9th birthday! I’m so sorry it isn’t what we planned; what you planned with Mummy and Daddy. But we’ll be there for you.
One thing is for sure, so many people have sent messages to your Mummy and Daddy as well as the rest of your family. Messages of love and support. Do you know why? It’s because they all love you. It’s because you’re such a lovely, smiley, kind, friendly and courageous little girl. You have touched everyone’s hearts because you are you. Just like you touched mine the first day I met you on 26th June 2008.
So come on Rainbow Girl and shine through this storm.
Lots and lots of love,
Auntie Diane xxx