Tomorrow, it will be May. May. The last month in which our girl was with us last year. The month our boy will join us this year. We are counting down the days to the terribly sad anniversary of our daughter’s death. And we are counting down the days to one of the most joyous events of our lives in our son’s birth.
As you know if you read here even semi-regularly, some of our fondest memories (and best photographs) of Hudson come from the many afternoons we spent with her at the National Arboretum, where she loved to toddle through the flower-filled meadows and trails. Now, thanks to the leadership of our friends Kim and Shawn, and the generosity of many other friends and family members, the Arboretum will soon install a memorial bench in honor of Hudson, fittingly placed in one of our favorite spot—the Dogwood Collection. We are very grateful to Kim and Shawn and to everyone who contributed to help remember Hudson in such a fitting and beautiful way.
On the anniversary of her death, May 13th, we will spend some time remembering Hudson at her bench. We invite any of you who are (or will be) in the DC area that day to join us in the Dogwood Collection at 3:30 pm that afternoon. We will not have a formal service, but we will share some words, a moment of silence, some bubbles, and a song with those of you who are able to come. The Arboretum closes at 5:00, and we understand that this may be a difficult hour for some people to join us. Please feel welcome to bring your children or dogs to share this time with us. Dress will be very casual and we will provide the bubbles, so no need to bring your own. There is no need to RSVP. The only reasons we might not have the memorial that day is if it is raining or if we are in the hospital with Jackson. So just check back here closer to the time to be sure it is still on.
If you are unable to join us, we would love it if you wanted to blow some bubbles in Hudson’s memory wherever you may be that day or evening and email me photos of them if you’d like—I will post them here on the blog afterward. A friend has also set up a Facebook page for Blowing Bubbles for Hudson where you can also post photos if it is easier for you.
The Dogwood Collection is at the far northeast corner of the Arboretum (you can find it on this map). Parking is available at the Dogwood Collection and at the nearby Asian Collection and Conifer Collection. You can also park on the sides of the nearby roads (just stay on the pavement) if these lots end up being full.
Unless the Arboretum changes its policies, Hudson’s bench will be around for at least 30 years. It will have a plaque with her name and some special words about her. We hope that you and many others will be able to visit her bench and find some quiet time there to smile, to play, or to contemplate, just like Hudson used to.
And now, as we close the bittersweet month of April and enter the bittersweet month of May, I wanted to share the beautiful photos from our final trip to the Arboretum with our sweet Hudson, in April of last year. These are also the last set of photos we have of Hudson as a toddler, save one that was taken two days before she got sick.
Oh, my. “Bittersweet” doesn’t even begin to describe how this feels.