Although I won't (can't) start at the beginning, for the benefit of anyone who comes here without knowing me or us, I will explain, at least in part, why I began this blog. Our daughter, Hudson Lily Hitchcock Chaney, died suddenly at the age of 17 months after a three-day stay in the hospital due to an incredibly aggressive bacterial meningitis. At her memorial service, I offered the following message. It has unexpectedly become a guiding principle in our lives, and, it seems, in many others. That is yet another One Good Thing.But of the many things you taught me, one of the most important was not to worry about what should or shouldn’t be, but simply to enjoy and cherish what is. When you got a little older, I was going to start a ritual with you that I was going to call “One Good Thing.” Whenever something bad happened to one of us, we were going to try to think of one good thing that came out of it– to enjoy and cherish what is rather than worry about what should or shouldn’t be. I thought I was going to teach you that lesson, but now I realize it was the other way around. You’ve already taught it to me and so many others.
Hudson's One Good Thing
Hudson's One Good Thing
It’s a lesson that we all know inside, but one that we need to be reminded of often—to love and treasure every moment in this all-too-short life, to hug, kiss, and laugh often, to soften in our anger, to love unconditionally and overwhelmingly, to always tell our friends and family that we love them—to enjoy and cherish what is and stop worrying about what should and shouldn’t be. Your life and death are the most powerful reminder of that lesson that any of us could have received.
You are gone but you should not be. But, following your lead, I will cherish what is— that your dad’s and my lives, and so many others, are changed forever because you were in them. Your smile, joyful laugh, mischievous ways, sweet voice, and wise countenance are indelibly burned on my heart-- I would do anything to hear you say "Mama" just one more time. You are gone but you should not be. Thank you for helping me cherish what is. I love you.
And the One Good Thing we can take from Hudson's death, if there can be such a thing, is the incredible love and support we have experienced during these darkest days of our lives. I've said to some that we've been amazed at how this network has emerged over the last week, but what I've realized, through Hudson's lesson, is that this network has been there all the time-- we've just been taking it for granted. And we never will again.