Martin and Jane Weekes say twins Parker (left) and Poppy
have given them immense happiness. Photo / Sarah Ivey
It's nice to see Jane and Martin Weekes smile again.
Despite the constant bustle around the large-scale
renovations at their Devonport home, a festive barbecue for
their builders on the go and planning their first Christmas
trip away with their new twins, the couple are relaxed and
Christmas music playing in the background, they gaze at
Parker and Poppy adoringly and chatter animatedly to the
Herald about the twins' first four months and the laughter it
has brought to their family.
There is no denying the Weekes twins are genuinely loved and
cherished. But there is also no denying their parents are
still devastated over the loss of their 2-year-old triplets
in Doha, Qatar, in May 2012.
Lillie, Willsher and Jackson died when a fire broke out at
the Villaggio shopping mall. Mr and Mrs Weekes returned to
New Zealand late last year and found out just before
Christmas they were to be parents again.
It was bittersweet news. They yearned for more children and
were overjoyed their IVF treatment had not only been
successful but resulted in twins. But facing their first
Christmas without the triplets was almost too much for the
couple to bear.
A year later, they are starting to heal and take immense
comfort from the constant giggles and smiles from blue-eyed
Poppy and Parker.
"These guys are immensely fun," Mr Weekes said. "There are
times we really see the others in them. Parker doesn't look
like either of his brothers - he looks like both of them
squashed together. That really brings it home that they are
"People talk about this Christmas being easier. It will be
different, but it will still be really hard. Even though we
have Poppy and Parker, we cannot ignore the fact Lillie,
Jackson and Willsher aren't there. It's impossible."
Mrs Weekes said her heart had expanded when the twins
arrived. "You don't halve how much you love them when you
have more," she said.
"But you just can't not miss Lillie, Jackson and Willsher -
and we will never get beyond that. Although we've gotten an
immense amount of happiness from Poppy and Parker there is
still an immense sadness for what we've lost and who the
twins will never get to meet."
The couple spent Christmas Day with Mrs Weekes' parents and
her brother, who will become a father next month.
They decided to dine at a restaurant and conserve energy for
what will be a busy child-filled Christmas in 2014.
Mr Weekes has three older children - Tatjana, Nik and Natalya
- from an earlier marriage. The trio are spending Christmas
with their mother in Auckland but have had plenty of twin
time in the lead-up.
A busy house has also soothed Mr and Mrs Weekes. "It doesn't
take away from how much we miss Lillie, Jackson and Willsher,
but it does make the in-between times much happier," Mr
"One of the worst things after Lillie, Jackson and Willsher
were killed was the huge empty silences."
They have plenty to keep them busy next year too. They are
focused on finishing the renovations, and Mrs Weekes has a
new career plan.
She will train as a counsellor and wants to help others who
have suffered similar tragedy.
And more siblings for Poppy and Parker could be on the cards.
"I wouldn't say no plans..." Mr Weekes laughed.
- By Anna Leask of the New Zealand Herald