Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Relics and Ruins

relic, n. Something that has survived the passage of time, especially an object or custom whose original culture has disappeared, for example:
  • The safety gate around the fireplace, which I finally had to take down today because we have a small leak in the gas logs that needed to be repaired
  • The car seat in the basement, which thankfully I removed from the car on the day of Hudson’s first memorial service because we needed the room; otherwise, it might still be there
  • Latches that no longer serve any function on drawers and cabinet doors in the kitchen
  • A bottle of Aveeno baby soap I can’t bring myself to remove from the shower caddy in our bathroom
  • The positive pregnancy test from when we found out we were having Hudson, which I found recently in the top drawer of my jewelry box
  • Hudson’s green shirt with three turtles down the front, which would have been a hand-me-down if Hudson ever had a sister, but which will now be packed carefully away in a box of things that can never be anyone’s but Hudson’s
  • A copy of the invitation to Hudson’s first birthday party, still hanging on our refrigerator door
  • Two sets of fingerpaint handprints, the first made at school in June 2009, when Hudson first started daycare, the second made in May 2010 at daycare as part of Hudson’s Mother’s Day gift for me, also the last art she ever made

ruins, n. The remains of something destroyed, disintegrated, or decayed, for example:
  • Airports, which I used to adore, especially for all the exchanges of love during hellos and goodbyes, but which now I can barely walk through without tears
  • The National Arboretum, a favorite and incredibly beautiful spot, but one where I have never been without Hudson
  • Our driving route downtown, which passes right by Children’s Hospital where Hudson died
  • The car, which feels totally empty without my girl in the backseat and her music in the air
  • The Museum of Natural History, where Hudson could have spent every day, looking at and learning about all the different animals in the world, and making her trademark “RAWR!” when she saw the lions
  • My glider, where I spent hours and hours with Hudson, nursing, reading stories, cutting her fingernails while watching cartoons (the only time she ever saw any TV), and, on her last day at home, where we sat for several hours, her asleep on my chest, her head on my shoulder, me thinking she was sleeping off a nasty bug

archeology, n. the study of past human societies

That is, the study of our life that no longer exists.



  1. Every time I read your blog - my heart breaks a bit for you. Much like you anxiously and compulsively checking for comments and feedback, I regularly check on the site - hoping that knowledge that people are reaching back towards you as you reach out will bring you some comfort.

    much love, peach and strength to you and your ed.
    andrea s.

  2. I think the following is true for many of us thinking about you.

    If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. ~Claudia Ghandi

  3. I learned of your loss of your beautiful little Hudson through your posts on an internet forum and have been reading your blog ever since. Today's post especially touched my heart.

    I wish you had your Hudson here with you. I think of you often.

  4. So hard-- constant reminders that you can't bear to get rid of. I keep hoping that somehow it will get a little easier soon.

  5. I remember thinking after Hudson died how awful it was going to be for you and Ed to go home to all the reminders of the sweet toddler that should have come home with you. This post captures this in a beautiful, heartbreaking way. I hope, in time, that some of these physical reminders will bring comfort more than pain. Thinking of you always.

  6. Your pain is unimaginable. I'm sorry this is your reality. I can only hope time takes the edge off the stab you must feel every time you see your precious girl's things.

    Our son is also "turtle" nicknamed by his daddy before he was born. He has turtle pjs, books, shirts, turtle picture on the wall in his room, and a stuffed turtle with which he sleeps. This theme which we adopted before Hudson was born now also belongs partly to her and I think of her when Dylan points to a turtle in a book or asks for his turtle at bedtime. Even in a place where she has never been your little Hudson has left relics. Is that a good thing? I think it's good that her spirit still shines bright enough to be seen by those who never knew her. Although it probably does not do much to ease your pain.

  7. Kate Ackley ZellerAugust 4, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Heartbroken, adj. crushed with sorrow or grief

    That is, the way we all feel about what happened to beautiful, smart, spunky Hudson and your family.

  8. The relics and ruins are evidence. Evidence of a joyful spirit whose light still shines in your life. I'm so sorry that your precious Hudson is not here on earth in your arms. But I am certain that her spirit lives on - not only in the lives she brightened. A soul so full of love doesn't simply cease to exist. She is with God.

  9. One good thing - I have just sent 3 books to the Mathenys' for the library project - it seemed like the fitting thing to do... the creation of something that will survive the passage of time.

  10. I always rush to your page to read your posts, so happy to hear from you and feel closer. It's an odd feeling but when I see one, I know you're still there, letting it out. But, they are filled with such sadness and my heart breaks to hear how you are hurting. I love you.

  11. if it ever feels like the right thing to do, here's an idea for a quilt from some of those sweet relics.