Saturday, November 13, 2010

Six Months: Remembering

Six months. Half a year. More than one-third of the time Hudson was with us on the earth. I have no idea how we got here, but here we are. Despite the inexplicable additional sadness of this particular anniversary, I still love to and need to remember my girl. 

As I’ve mentioned before, last fall was the point in Hudson’s life at which she really started interacting, learning by leaps and bounds, engaging in independent play. November was the first month we had our new digital SLR camera, so we took lots and lots of pictures. I am so grateful that we did—these photos really capture Hudson’s big, bright spirit. It was a spirit she already possessed but was just really beginning to grow into and show off. It was an enchanting time to be her parents, and I’m just so glad that we caught so much of it on camera. I realized yesterday that I never had time to post our November photo album on Facebook last year, so many of these photos will be ones that no one has really seen except for Ed and me.  I also realized that in 6 more months, I will have exhausted all the photos there are to share of the final year of Hudson’s life. Oh, my.

On a warm day in the early part of November, we took Hudson to the National Zoo.  Hudson had been once before, but she was really too little to enjoy it.  Not this time.  You can see in the second picture that she was too busy looking at the elephants to pose for a picture.  She loved it so much, we joined the Friends of the National Zoo that day.  I just got our membership renewal papers in the mail yesterday.  Who would think that something so ordinary as that could be so very sad?

These pictures are from what became typical playtime at home with Hudson.  Trying on her Halloween costume again (we had not yet put it away).  Climbing in and out of the rocking chair, saying Rocky-rock.”  Getting in and out of the Bumbo seat, which she was too big for, but which we used to hold her still in the bathtub while we rinsed the soap off of her.

And of course, always a favorite pastime, hanging out at the front door watching the world go by.

I remember the moments of these next pictures like they happened yesterday.  I had run downstairs to get something and put Hudson in her crib for safekeeping, not realizing that she was tall enough to reach up and grab the box of tissue sitting on top of the bookcase next to her crib.  When I got back upstairs, this is what I found.  I immediately went back downstairs for the camera. 

By this time, she had become an excellent eater-- mealtime became one of our favorite times of day.

For Thanksgiving, Hudsons school sent home a turkey for us to decorate as a family. I thought this was a pretty good time to try finger painting for the first time. I think Hudson did, too.

In mid-November, we took a trip down to NC to celebrate Thanksgiving with our law school friends, who have had an annual get-together ever since our first year of law school. Look at that grin. 

And these were our first attempts at taking her 11-month photo.  Sometimes, she just could not be bothered to sit still for it, as was the case on this day.  Her sock was way more interesting than we were.  Again, the grin.

As I look at these photos, I am again struck by how impossible it seems that this sweet soul, this precious face, this mischievous smile, this amazing creature is not here anymore. I just can’t comprehend that—to me, she practically jumps out of these photos. How can a child so alive not be?

I miss you so much, my sweet, sweet Hudson.  I’ll never stop missing you or wishing you were here.


  1. It has been said before, but: what a wonderful, wonderful little girl.

  2. What a sweet, adorable, happy, much-loved little girl. I ask the same question: how can this enchanting little spirit not be here? She lives on through your words and memories and these precious photos, Mandy. We see her and know her through you. Blessings to you.

  3. She is beautiful Mandy, and you are a wonderful mom. Erin

  4. Beautiful pictures.
    Have you asked people you know if they have pictures of her? They may on their cameras and not even realize it. I have been surprised more than once to get a picture I had never seen when I thought I would never see another new picture of my baby.

  5. Thank you for sharing these pictures and memories, Mandy. Thinking of you today.

  6. These photos are fantastic and show how full of LIFE Hudson was last year. What a beautiful little girl. Take care-our thoughts are certainly with you all of the time, but each time we see the 13th on the calendar, I have to catch my breath now. Oh, how can this be? Lots of love to you-

  7. Such a you silly girl! You were supposed to paint the turkey on the PAPER, not the turkey that is YOU! :)

    Oh, Mandy, how my heart breaks for you and Ed, and for Hudson for not being able to still be here with such loving parents. What a vivacious, bright, beautiful little girl... She had it all, didn't she?

  8. (Aaack! How do you delete a comment?!? I DESPISE typos, and my comment above should have started out "Such a silly girl..." NOT "Such a *you* silly girl..." Grr.)

  9. Thanks as always for sharing these beautiful pictures of a beautiful girl. I especially like the sock-removal before and after shots. How pleased with herself she looks.

    Thinking of ya'll and sending love and light your way, especially this rough weekend.

    And thanks to Hudson for adding so much love and light to this world. May you feel her love, and may you know that she felt and knew your love every milesecond of her life.

  10. Mandy, I haven't posted in a long time, but I wanted to let you know that, especially on this anniversary weekend, Jeff and I are thinking about you. I read your blog everyday, laughing and crying with you, and I want you to know that there are so many of us who will never forget Hudson and are here with you, walking alongside you. Lots of love today and always.
    Caroline Williams

  11. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. They certainly put a smile on my face. What a beautiful soul she was.

  12. Oh, Mandy, how devastatingly beautiful she is! Her smiley little heart sheds so much joy to all, even those of us whom she never met. I'm sending my love.

  13. Hudson should be here; gone will never make sense. When you're ready, Amaris will come over and show you just how much she and Hudson are alike.

    Love to Ed, Mandy, Hudson and Penguin...Renee P.

  14. So precious and curious. Thank you for sharing these memories. She is always with you. Love you.

  15. I hope that you and Ed can find a way to celebrate Hudson this holiday season. In whatever form that comes, Hudson will continue to live on not only in your hearts but in a tradition created in her honor.
    Perhaps, you could give away books at the homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter on Christmas Day. Or, visit a nursing home where so many residents don't have family or visitors. A smile or a gentle touch to a resident makes a world of difference.
    Your love for Hudson and your desire to "skip" the holiday is an opportunity to create a caring moment for a sad child or a lonely resident. What a wonderful time of year to share Hudson with others...share her spirit, your love, tell Hudson's story... a new tradition created by you for her will keep Hudson's memory alive in so many ways, and even in death she will bring a smile to so many faces.

  16. Feeling touched by your words and memories of your sweet daughter. As hard as it is for you to write, it is also difficult to read. As a parent with a daughter close in age, I just can't imagine. Sending you warmest wishes and hugs, from one mom to another. Thanks for sharing Hudson's story. YOU are brave and strong!