Tuesday, December 14, 2010

30 Days of Thanks—Day #20

I am grateful for Jess. If you read here regularly at all, you will already know most of the reasons why, but if you don’t, you can read about her here and here. Today, I’m grateful for her because she always seems to know just what I need when I need it (even when she doesn’t necessarily know that she knows).

Yesterday, like I seem to do most days, I stood in front of Hudson’s picture and cried and told her that I really hope that she can hear me and that she knows how much I love and miss her. Later in the day, I received a package in the mail from Jessica that included two wind-up toys (a turtle and a penguin) and a beautiful children’s book. Her note said that before Hudson died, her plan had been to send Hudson a different book every year for Christmas, and that this year, she almost sent the book to Hudson’s library collection, but decided that Ed and the Penguin and I needed it more.

The book is Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman. I was crying by the third page. I’m tempted to reproduce the words in their entirety here, but will leave it for you to enjoy with your children if you’d like. But I will include the few verses that touched me most deeply (and I hope that Ms. Tillman will forgive me for doing so).

And if someday you’re lonely,
or someday you’re sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you’ve been bad…
just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass…in the smell of the sea…
in the clouds floating by…at top of a tree…
in the sound crickets make at the end of the day…
“You are loved. You are loved. You are loved,” they all say.


You are my angel, my darling, my star…
and my love will find you, wherever you are.

It took me a whole day to realize that these words speak to me not only because I send them out to my sweet Hudson every day, but also because I want so much to believe that she is sending them back to me.

Thank you, my dear friend. I am so lucky to have you.


  1. That is so, so beautiful. Mandy and Jess and Hudson-- all lucky to have each other.

  2. What a wonderful friend.

  3. Dear Mandy and Ed..I wil call you that now..Hudson is an angel..I have said that before in a comment..I spent Sunday at St. Ann's and as people came through all I could think was next year I will have Hudson's room and life to share..we miss her so much and think and talk about her each day. We have served many children over the years, but no one like Hudson..I mean that with all my heart..she is an angle..I know from reading that you are not sure about all this stuff, but I am and her spirit is with us and on our floor and in my door..you are both in our thoughts this holiday season..I know you will be traveling, but do know that Hudson is now and will forever be a part of us at St.Ann's..as you both and penguin will be in the years to come. And yes I will say..God be with you both this holiday season..and you are in your St. Ann's Family thoughts..Barbara Dubik & staff wish you some peace..

  4. You are lucky to have a friend who knows just what is needed-- and again, you have friends like these because this is the kind of friend you are. I think that Hudson's love is out there, calling to you-- I'm so glad that you hear it.

  5. OK, I totally love Jess and I don't even know her.
    Hugs all around.

  6. Mandy, those words are beautiful, and you have such a dear friend in your Jess. I know she is as grateful for you as you are for her. The words of Hudson's caretakers from St. Ann's in the comment above are truly moving, as well.

  7. Wow, what a wonderful friend. So rare, so special. You are blessed, Mandy. Olivia

  8. Mandy, I want you to know that I am grateful for you, for your wonderful writing, for the amount of yourself and of your sweet daughter you have shared with so many of us. While I wish you had Hudson with you, and nothing makes up for the fact that you don't, I am grateful for all the ways her life and her death have affected me, who never even met her.

  9. To believe that they send it back... that is one of my biggest hopes...
    Your friend is amazing... what a sweet soul.
    with love- L