Friday, July 9, 2010

Two Good Things

I’ve said this to so many of you in person and in messages, and this is now going to be about the thousandth time Ed has heard or read this from me: the only consolation I have after Hudson’s death is the knowledge that her life and death can continue to have meaning for others. This is one of many reasons this blog has become an unexpected source of amazing comfort for me. The more people ask me if they can share it or the more people tell me it has helped them, the more comforted I feel to know that Hudson’s light keeps shining on us all. If I couldn’t find this kind of meaning in her death, then I would just never get out of bed again. Ever. Because otherwise, it would all be so very pointless. So it is with bittersweet gratitude that I share two more remarkable and lasting tributes to Hudson’s life that will help her spirit live on. (Follow these links to check out One Good Thing bracelets and join the One Good Thing Facebook page).

First, because of the generosity of our family and friends in their donations to the PICU at Children’s National Medical Center, they have established the Hudson Chaney Memorial Fund for the PICU. What is so awesome about this fund is that it is the very FIRST fund ever designated for the PICU. So its creation means that not only will all gifts given in Hudson’s name be used for the PICU, but also that other families now, finally, can support the PICU in remembrance, in celebration, or for any other reason. The care that the PICU staff provided not only to Hudson, but to Ed, me, and our entire family was extraordinary—every child and every family deserves the same in such terrible times. And now, Hudson’s fund will help the PICU provide that kind of care to families regardless of their ability to pay.

Second, St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home, where Hudson attended day care, will use some of the donations it has received to help renovate and buy new resources for the Infant Education Center, which is the reading room for the babies up to two years old. Knowing how much Hudson loved learning and loved her books, the staff at St. Ann’s thought the most fitting tribute to her would be to rename the room “Hudson’s Room.” I couldn’t agree more. Hudson was in the midst of blooming into an incredible little person, largely as a result of the loving care of Ms. Barbara, Ms. Cathy, and the rest of the St. Ann’s staff, and we’re so grateful to them for it. St. Ann’s also provides affordable, high-quality day care for low-income and single-parent families, and the remaining donations they receive in Hudson’s name will support that mission.

We are so grateful to everyone who donated to the PICU and to St. Ann’s (and other worthy organizations) in Hudson’s name to make these legacies possible. And I am grateful to everyone for giving me a reason to get out of bed every day.  If you’d like to contribute to either the PICU or St. Ann’s, you can use the links here on the blog.

Shine on, my sweet girl.


  1. This gives me chills (in a good way). She shines on, indeed.

  2. Sending you a smile through the tears. This warms my heart.

  3. That is awesome Mandy! What an amazing tribute to Hudson and to you and Ed. Your generosity to these organizations is a testament to you as parents.

    Much love,
    Brooke A.

  4. Mandy - Our daughter Ingrid was in Ms. Kathleen's class until we moved to Australia on May 12. We heard of Hudson's death via the Brookland list serve the weekend after she died and were heart-broken. My husband did most of the pick up and drop off at St. Ann's and Hudson said hello every morning to him. He was devastated to hear she was gone. We had not known how to honor her until I saw your post on the list serv this evening. I read your blog crying through most of it. It is beautifully written and you are very brave.

    Allison Lee

  5. Mr.& Mrs.Chaney: We think of you both each and every day. We thank you for thinking of us and making us part of "one good thing". Hudson will always be a part of us and we are looking forward to "Hudson's Room". We have some construction to do in the building, but I will keep you informed of our progress and you are always in our prayers. Barbara Dubik