Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Pippa’s Christmas Moon

Tonight I waited long after it was dark wrapped up in towels and a rug after the heat of the day had gone and the only warmth left was from the bluestone against my back still warm from the day’s sun.

As I watched the moon rise over the ocean I thought of my darling girl, how much she loved Christmas and how the ache in my heart is no less than it was last Christmas or the one before that or the one before that.  I thought of the people I now know (and those I don’t) who are also spending Christmas Day without their child.  I also thought of those people spending Christmas Day this year knowing that it will be the last time they will see Christmas joy in the face of their child; knowing that Christmas 2020 will need to be navigated with that same empty chasm in their heart that I have in mine.

So if you wake on Christmas morning and happen to see Pippa’s moon on your phone or computer, please, before the chaos and stress and frenzy of Christmas starts, pause and think of all the families spending Christmas without their child and those putting on a brave face for their child.

Christmas is not joyful for everyone.  For many it is simply cruel.  Pippa’s Moon rising over her seat at Port Fairy Beach is indeed beautiful and worth the long dark wait, but its beauty does not make up for the ache in my heart and the sadness that never ever leaves.


My neice sent me a message in reply to this pic tonight that said – Pippa, we love you to the moon and back.  It reminded me of what Pippa used to say.  She loved that book, Guess How Much I Love You.  Whenever Pippa had been away from me she would come home sad from having missed me and cuddle up on my lap and I would have to read her that book.  To cheer her up James and Patrick (at a much younger age than they are now) would act out the story creating a lot of laughter from Pippa with their antics – especially when Big Nutbrown Hair would swing Little Nutbrown Hair high above his head!  At the end, Pippa would always say to me, “Mummy, I don’t love you to the moon and back.  I love you to the moon, around all the planets and all the stars, around the universe, back down to earth and around the world…and back!”




Nibbles came to us Christmas 4 years ago…..


He fixed tummy aches, he joined birthday parties and they shared countless punnets of blueberries.  Pippa used to tell him he had a very fat bottom!



Since the 28th March 2015 he has provided comfort and love and sometimes has even mistakenly been called Pippa.  He would knock on the door to get let in and without fail he would hop up to Pippa’s bedroom.  Every Single Time!  The first thing he did after she left us was to paw and snif at her bagful of clothes.  We have often found him on her bed, with her teddies, playing with her yellow dancing costume and just sitting or sleeping in her room.  He ate every flower that ever entered the vicinity of our back yard except for Yellow Jonquils planted for Pippa – those he would just sit in amongst and sometimes rub his chin on.  He has been known to sit up at the back of the couch and stare at the photo of him and her on our wall – no kidding!

IMG_3505 - Version 2

This Christmas he hopped into Pippa’s room one last time and went to his favourite sleeping spot beside her bag of clothes and her school bag.  He knew exactly what was happening and precisely where he needed to be.  He went to sleep peacefully, I left a candle on all night and he didn’t wake up.

We buried him in our back yard that he had so much joy in.  He is sleeping forever with a carrot, a flower and 2 photos of Pippa, but he is now hopping, running crazily and laughing forever in Pippa’s beautiful heaven….


Pippa’s Heaven

Darling Nibbles and Darling Pippa……every single day hurts


Happy Christmas

A Gingerbread house was created to share, Pippa received everything she wished for, we have more ways of creating family fun, the Reindeer got up to mischief in the back yard again, Christmas Lunch was shared with family and Pippa’s gifts to us were the most incredible precious treasures ever……….

Christmas 2014; A Special One


Santa’s Little Helper

We have been receiving parcels which is always exciting, some very cute named Christmas stockings are hanging in our lounge room and a magical Christmas tree stands elegantly enticing endless comments from people who see it.  On Friday Pippa received another parcel and opened it.  Inside was a Christmas Teddy Bear.  She aptly named him Santa’s Little Helper or ‘SLH’ for short.  Geoffrey, Henry, Monkey and Harold have been carefully put aside to be re-cuddled after Christmas.  SLH has constantly been with Pippa since Friday and with him he has brought a little Christmas Hope and his own little magic……….

Santa's Little Helper

Santa’s Little Helper

Until Friday Pippa was focussed only on Christmas for everyone else:  She had delivered little gifts for her classmates, friends, family and the u18s basketball team.  Christmas shopping started on the day of our Christmas Sights Visit in Melbourne when she purchased her first of three gifts for James and Patrick. There are mysterious presents abound under the tree with “Love From Pippa” and by Friday she was completely organised ensuring that everyone around her would have a special Christmas from her.

Then Santa’s Little Helper came in the mail.  All day Friday she clung to him.  Saturday morning she woke excited.  At first I thought she was excited because we had decided we were able to go to our annual extended family Christmas gathering in Anglesea.  She was but that wasn’t what she was initially excited about.  Pippa needed to get ready for her Christmas.  She needed to write her Santa list.  Santa was coming in 4 sleeps and it needed to be done.  That very minute!  The list was typed carefully on the computer, printed, laminated, hole punched, placed in a folder and left under our Christmas Tree.  Yes, she’s her mother’s daughter; it was categorised and spaced out perfectly, but just shy of being put on an excel spreadsheet!  Only then could we leave for Anglesea – “Dougfest” would be 24 hours of fun with cousins, plenty of food, gifts, our annual raffle and a larrikin Santa handing out presents………  When we arrived Pippa was asked by Chelsea-Lee’s beautiful little face gazing up at her if would please go on the trampoline with her?  Pippa said, no she wasn’t going to be able to go on the trampoline today.  Later on in the afternoon though she was adamant she was going on the flying fox – and fly she did!  Complete with a merry band of followers!

We returned home to find that not only had Santa been to collect her list, but he had also left her 2 bracelets with magical powers made especially for her by his Elves!  Indeed, the magic of Christmas started to spread and Pippa’s face began to beam at the thought of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Carollers rang our door bell last night………

We have done our annual Wishing Tree Shopping from the raffle James started 8 years ago…….

Shopping for the Wishing Tree

Shopping for the Wishing Tree

Pippa didn’t put a pony on her list, but one turned up for her to ride and pat………

Nice to meet you, Biscuit

Nice to meet you, Biscuit 

Two weeks ago Christmas Day could not come quickly enough.  Now Pippa seems a little bit stable,  I am continuing to slowly and carefully drop her steroids and 2 days out Christmas is finally within our reach.

It’s now beginning to start feeling a lot like Christmas around here and thanks to Santa and his little helpers Christmas magic is shining through Pippa………


A Day of Christmas

We leave Melbourne soon and I had promised Pippa that we would do some fun things beforehand so she had a good think about what she would like to do………

Number one on her list was to buy her brothers their Christmas present.  With that in mind I thought seeing as that required a visit to DJs then why not have a day of Christmas Cheer?  We looked at the City Decorations and the Myer Christmas Windows, the Gingerbread display at the Town Hall, the Christmas Village decorations at the City Square and the amazingly spectacular Crown Towers Christmas Show with its enormous Christmas Tree.  Patrick was our photographer for the day and he didn’t know which way to point the camera – there was so much to look at we had to watch the show twice.  We finished off with a buffet lunch that left us bursting at the seams!

Pippa was tucked up in bed nice and early, so utterly exhausted but completely happy.  When I went in she was talking in her sleep about gingerbread houses and big Christmas trees.  When I asked her if she was was dreaming about her day she mumbled, “yes Mummy, it was wonderful.”



A Very Special Christmas

No chemo this week again because of low blood test results meant that Pippa could enjoy Christmas Day and eat anything she liked!  Chocolate Mousse for dessert is exactly what she ordered!

Pippa has decided that she would like to write this blog after having a  lovely Christmas day with friends and family……….

This fine Christmas day we were up very early looking for our presents from Santa. We ended up finding them outside. Mine was under my tree.  I got a dream catcher and also a very adorable bunny rabbit.  We found out the rabbit was a boy and called him Nibbles.  Patrick got a surfboard which he was very exited about.  He had his first trial this afternoon when we went to the beach.  And James got a Garmin running watch which he loved too.

We had 13 people coming for lunch they were Kylie, Jp, Ana, Armelle, Brian, Jo, Pep, Simon, Steph, Lachie, Georgia, Anne (Nan) and Tony.  For lunch we had salad, ham, potatoes, seafood and lamb cutlets.  

While we were having lunch mum made an anoucement to think about all the children who have to spend Christmas in the hospital because I was feeling very sad for them and hoping that they would still have a fun Christmas.  Anne (Nan) made some delicious fruit punch.

 After lunch Patrick ran the “Kris Kringle” it was only for the adults. You had to role a dice then what ever number it landed on either from 2-12 there was something you had to do.  When the kids got their presents I got a book and bop it XT.  

It was very hot outside so we decided to play inside. First we played connect 4.  Once Lachie, Steph, Georgia, Simon and Pep had gone Armelle and I played a game.  Then Ana came in and wanted to play with us.  Later Patrick came in and he decided he would play too.  A little later James came in then it was getting too squashed in my room so we went to the playroom. Patrick and James went because they had to do something.  So Ana, Armelle and I did some magic tricks. Then Ana and Armelle had to go home.  

I had a great Christmas day with all my family and friends. 


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