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Today is Maya’s seventh birthday. I pictured her this morning running down the steps into the living room of the place we are renting at the coast, running up to me and throwing her arms around my neck, giving me the biggest seven year old cuddle possible. Instead Amelia did just this a few minutes later, a nine year old cuddle big enough for two. Thank goodness for Amelia. I can’t even describe how different our lives would be if we didn’t have Amelia to offer the love and distraction we are so grateful for,  something we appreciate even more since Maya passed away. I think often of the parents that lose their only child and wonder what gets them out of bed each day.

Today we will do something fun for Maya’s birthday. A day out together as a family, spending precious time together, remembering Maya, celebrating Maya. One of our favourite games is to imagine what Maya would do in certain situations and talk about what we think she would like. Would she be hesitant at the beach or run full pelt into the waves? Would she still prefer salted caramel biscuits, or changed to another flavour? Would she like skirts or shorts? Would her hair be long or short, curly or straight? We all have our own thoughts and often the answers we come up with make us all laugh, it’s a beautiful game to play.

Today on Maya’s birthday I would also like to share with you the next chapter of Maya’s Journey. It was written in November 2014, on the first anniversary of her death, which was five years ago this week. It’s the last chapter that was written before opening Maya’s Rest.

‘Anniversary’ is a word that brings thoughts of happy things, but today we sit heartbroken, a year after you gaining your wings.

We will always be grateful to have shared in your days, but since saying goodbye we move through life covered by a haze.

Your sissy has a special friend we can’t see with our eyes, playing each day with her ‘Maya’ as our gaping hearts cry.

‘Maya’ comes with us everywhere, the park, the pool and in the car. You know wherever Amelia is, then her Maya is not too far.

We all have our special things, items we keep close to our heart, Daddy kisses his each morning since you’ve been apart.

We escaped in the camper once we said our goodbye. To spend time together, to adjust and have space to breakdown and cry.

We regrouped enough to come home and face life without you, our special little one, knowing we had to keep going for Amelia, to provide her endless love and fun.

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Warming Beautiful Souls‘ has brought many moments of joy, helping make the lives of sick children in hospital a little happier through the gift of a toy.

But silently in the background we’ve had another tribute underway. Something close to our hearts, we’ve worked hard towards every day.

We know you loved Bear Cottage, a place that helped take away the pain. Every time we left, we looked forward to going there again.

It’s a very special place that offered respite to us all, it gave us a chance to be a family, gain the strength needed after each ‘fall’.

So inspired by Bear Cottage and in honour of you our little one, we are creating a place for special families, a place to rest, relax and recharge as one.

We will provide these families with meals and a place to escape and have fun. So they can concentrate on making memories, gather strength, unite as one.

We bought some land just out of Canberra, the views are the best. We start building our special place soon, we will call it ‘Maya’s Rest’.

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So bubby you live on through us, in our heart and in our mind. We will honour you every day, you will never be left behind.

We love watching the signs you give us, butterflies, rainbows, birds flying by. They always are so timely, lightening our hearts and bringing tears to our eyes.

We miss you every moment and wish you could have stayed, but you were needed elsewhere, your destiny unswayed.

We hold you close to our hearts and will always try out best, to honour you by helping others through our dreams at Maya’s Rest.

Love you Maya.

Mummy, Daddy and Amelia.

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