EVEN as a little girl, Deborah loved life, her mum Heather, tells me.
“When she was eight I remember her telling me, ‘Mummy, there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do’,” she recalls.
“She loved life and she had the most amazing imagination.
“When she was three, I found her in the lounge – she had torn up sheets of paper and thrown it all around the room.
“When I asked her what she had done, she just replied ‘I’ve made snow, mummy. We’re having a snow day’.
“Another time she emptied an entire wheelbarrow of dirt in the lounge because she wanted us to have an inside garden.”
“We will miss her forever,” Heather adds. “She was the one who instigated our next adventure, and brought the sparkle to our lives.
“She had this incredible ability to make something out of nothing.
“As a teenager the best present she ever got was a bag of scrap material from the local fancy dress shop, she turned it into incredible costumes.
“Even as a grown up her favourite shop was Hobbycraft, and Eloise is exactly the same.”
One of the things Heather says she admired most about her eldest was the way she brought up her own children, Hugo and Eloise.
“She was a very different mum to me and I really respected her for it,” she admits. “I was more of a perfectionist – I refused to let her leave the house with odd socks.
“But Deborah would let the kids go out in fancy dress. I’d warn her they would get cold, and she would tell me, ‘they’ll learn’.
“She brought the kids up to learn from their mistakes, I just tried to protect her from making mistakes.”
“I was given this child, and I believe all children are gifts,” she adds.
“I’ve always known she was a bit different, and we are so proud of her and what she achieved in her short life.
“Part of me thinks she knew she would only be in this world for a limited time, and so made the most of every second.”
Ebury, a division of Penguin Random House, will pay £3 from the sale of ‘How To Live When You Could Be Dead’ by Deborah James in the UK to Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK. Cancer Research UK is a charity registered in England and Wales (1089464), Scotland (SC041666), Isle of Man (1103) and Jersey (247).