Sunday, October 3, 2010


It feels like it has been such a long time since I’ve written. Somewhere in there, it became October. October. The winter squashes just started showing up in our local market and we are reminded of last year, when acorn squash with apples and cinnamon became one of Hudson’s favorite meals. Last year, October was the month that Hudson became really fun. Of course, she was a delight, a joy, the light of our lives for all the time leading up to that, but you parents out there know what I mean. Around nine or ten months, it all starts to come together. They start to get really interactive in a way they weren’t before. The developmental leaps start coming every single day and all you can do is sit and marvel. My best and favorite memories of my sweet Hudson began in October of last year. I usually love this month, but I am so very sad she is not here to share it with us.

But even though it is a terribly sad Sunday morning here at our house, full of nostalgia and longing for our life that no longer exists, I take comfort in the lingering warm glow of a weekend spent with many very good friends. We hosted two different sets of friends for Friday dinner and Saturday brunch and had such a good time catching up. It feels like I am crawling, slowly, warily, out of a dark hole. While I’ve never had difficulty laughing since Hudson died (laughter is and always has been one of Ed’s and my lifelines—we’ve never relied on it more than we have during this awful time), I feel for the first time as though the laughter is not so hollow, as though there is some fullness to it.

And then last night, Rich and Lynn Matheny had us over for an amazing meal, some fabulous home-brewed beer, wonderful camaraderie, and the unveiling of all the lovely books collected in Hudson’s memory for the D.C. Public Library. I had already seen the remarkable list on paper, but seeing all the books in person, touching them with my hands, turning their pages, reading the notes enclosed, helping place the memorial bookplates—that was an entirely different and visceral experience. We were stunned, and incredibly moved, by the obviously painstaking choices so many people made when selecting books. Each book, in its own way, was so perfectly appropriate for this wonderful tribute to our precious Hudson. The rich variety of the more than 300 titles will make such a difference at our little Woodridge library. I wish I had endless time to sit and look at and read them all and think about my girl. I can already picture in my head a small child with his or her mama or daddy reading a book they had checked out at the library, seeing the bookplate, and wondering who the special little girl was who inspired such a gift. Our girl’s light will keep shining forever on all those children.

I want to take yet another opportunity to thank Rich and Lynn, not only for conceiving of and putting together such a thoughtful, appropriate, and excellent tribute to Hudson, but also for providing a way for so many of our friends, family, and many who did not know us, to do something else so tangible and personal and purposeful to honor Hudson’s life. As Rich remarked to me, in the end, “the impact may be greater for those who gave than those who will receive.” Thank you, Rich and Lynn, for opening that door for everyone, and thank you so much to everyone who stepped through it to remember Hudson with us in such a special way.

On this otherwise-sad, chilly October morning, Hudson’s books, and all of you, are my One Good Thing. Thank you.


  1. Another post, experience of yours that has moved me to tears. I am so glad that you and Ed got to see all of the amazing books that were sent to honor and remember your sweet Hudson. I have wanted to send you and Ed a copy of one of the books that we sent in. If that is ok, could you email me your address?
    Much love you you both.

  2. It's not much, but I wanted to let you know I made a butterfly for Hudson and added to my site. It was made with love and I hope it brings you a smile today. xo

  3. Mandy,
    Please let me know if sending books is still an option. I have been terrible lately about getting to the post office (friends of mine have a baby who will outgrow the clothes I bought him before long...)so I didn't want to commit, but I hope soon I will get my sh** together and send a donation to your library. I'll send you my address in a FB message.

    I'm so glad there is a glimmer of light for you.
    I send my heartfelt wishes for more moments of joy.

  4. Mandy- what a beautiful post about friendship and community. It has been a rough few days for me- reading this gives me hope that maybe somewhere down the road things will brighten. The books will certainly be a source of light and joy to all of the children who read them in the future. What a legacy- a gift from Hudson through the support of so many people.
    Grace- Leslie

  5. So glad that you had an uplifting weekend, even if it was bittersweet...

  6. I can hear your laughter as you describe it and I'm so thankful you see Hudson's impact in so many ways. Xoxo.

  7. Rich and Lynn enabled so many of us to channel our ache to do SOMETHING (ANYTHING) useful to honor Hudson and provide testimony to you and Ed about how much we love her. Rich is absolutely right that the impact for those who gave is so great :) I look forward to reading these books with our children and continuing to talk about Hudson each time we see that beautiful name plate. Another great big thank you to the Mathenys for this incredible project!

  8. Thank you, Mandy. And let me echo your words and say how grateful we are to all who participated. We had a small idea, but it relied on community input to become something wonderful. Thanks to all for helping to make that wonder a reality. Lynn M.