I have hundreds of photos of Eva. My phone is never far from me and I used it, a lot, to capture her smile, her successes in tummy time, he cry, I captured everything I could.
Even with these hundreds, and the dozens of videos I captured too, there is a knowledge in the back of my head that reminds me that I have all the photos I will ever have of her.
There will be no new ones.
When I go to insert a photo to a blog post I think about how I will reuse one I’ve already used, how there will be no new smiling Eva photos to share.
But on Tuesday I was proven wrong when I was sent around 30 new photos I had not seen from her in home day care.
When I went back to work at the start of 2015, Eva was attending in home day care with a wonderful carer through Barnardos. Every day I would drop Eva off with her carer, and her teenage daughter would take Eva out of my arms and coo at her and smile.
I was so happy to find them. They genuinely cared for Eva and I knew she was so loved there. She had a couple of little friends there too, two little boys, one of which doted on Eva.
It was him that declared that Eva was “in the stars” when she died.
On Saturday, Eva’s anniversary, I saw so many lovely tributes to Eva. Then I saw the teenage daughter who cooed so lovingly at Eva had posted a couple of photos on Instagram in Eva’s honour. I messaged her saying thank you and asked if she could send me those three images, because I hadn’t seen them before. She proceeded to send me dozens.
I can’t share all of them with you, some of my favourites in particular, because it’s not just Eva in the photos, but all of them showed just how loved Eva was and how happy she was in their care, while I went to work.
On Saturday night, I lay in bed, tears rolling down my cheeks as I looked at these photos of Eva I had never seen. Two years after her death, it felt like she was right there with me. Her personality bubbled right out of the photos and I could almost hear her giggling as she sat with her little friend on the couch.
It is both heartbreaking and beautifully heartwarming to know how many people Eva touched in her little life. What I love the most about these photos is seeing her so happy, so full of life, enjoying everything and everyone she met, just as I remember her.