Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Eleven Months: Remembering

I honestly have no idea what to say today. It’s hard for me to even think about today being eleven months, because all I can think about is that in one more month, it will have been an entire year since we said goodbye to the most precious person in our lives, our deeply beloved child who brought us joy we had not known before was possible. Really, what is another month in the face of such enormity?

Right this minute, I am sitting out on Hudson’s Poppy’s back porch, looking over the swimming pool where she took her first “lessons” from her daddy this time in late April nearly a year ago. We were visiting North Carolina for some law alumni events, and took advantage of the beautiful weather with some great adventures in Poppy’s pool and Hudson’s first boat ride on Poppy’s pontoon boat out on Jordan Lake. We could never have known that our dearest little girl, so doted upon by her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and so many others, would be taken from us forever a short three weeks later. As always, I am so very grateful for these wonderful memories, so shiny-bright as they are with Hudson’s effervescent spirit, and yet I am so incredibly sad that I now sit here alone, without her, in this place she once filled to the brim with so much joy.

On Poppy’s back porch in her Hudson-sized papasan chair under her Hudson-sized umbrella. 

First boat ride--she was not a fan of her boat coat,” as we call them in our family
Lovin’ some love from Grandpa 

Peas in a pod

Driving with Poppy

One of my very favorites

I’m guessing Ai-pane!

“Ooh, see that over there, Grandma?!”
“And that there?!”

Oh, that face.
 Oh, that love.

Learning to kick

After her first dunking

And the pièce de résistance:

I hope that as you look at these pictures, you can feel that joy just vibrating out of your screen. I know I do. As you watch our little Hudson, at only 17 months old, embracing swimming with an enthusiasm borne straight out of that joy, I hope you have a better sense than ever of how big a spirit lived in that little body, a better sense than ever of how much we have lost. Her joy for living was unparalleled, and here, almost a year later, its absence still leaves a giant, gaping hole that will never be fully filled.

How much I miss her face. How much I miss her joy.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful photos and what a treasure is that video!

  2. Oh, I do feel the joy vibrating out of the screen. Every time you post pictures of Hudson, I smile, followed by a deep sigh, but first I smile. She is beautiful and delightful.

  3. It just doesn't make any sense that she is not here, it just doesn't. Bloody unfair.

  4. Joy and love and energy.
    The beauty intertwined with the loss of that beauty.... so inconceivable.
    Pure goodness.
    Rachel C.

  5. Hudson is so beautiful. I'm so sorry such a heartbreaking aniversary is approaching, and I'm so sorry you don't have your little girl with you still to watch grow, splash, and smile. Much love to you.

  6. This must be an especially difficult time for you and your family. I'm so sorry. What a beautiful girl.

  7. I am so sad looking through these. Not fair, not fair, not fair. She was truly a spirit of joy and happiness.

  8. I so feel that Hudson joy. Thinking of you always with love and hope. Renee P.

  9. What an amazing kiddo; Hudson is simply adorable. And obviously so much fun, too. Her smile radiates happiness and enthusiasm. There is so much joy in the eyes of her loved ones, too. It is easy to see how much she was, and still is, cherished.

  10. I am just in tears reading, looking at these pictures and watching this video. There are so many things I want to say, but none of it is adequate, or enough, or right. There is nothing that makes it alright to be living your life without your daughter.
    Thank you for sharing Hudson's life with those of us who read here Mandy.. for showing her smile, her spirit, and her joy. It all comes through in this precious place.. it truly does.

  11. I feel her spirit, Mandy, and it's huge. Precious girl and precious memories. She had such unfettered joy that spread to everyone around her and even still does. I wish she was with you right now. Jumping to her daddy in the pool and pushing his hands off saying, "my do it myself" (like Dylan does) even though she can't swim on her own yet. Life is so very precious and I am grateful to Hudson (and you for making her come to life on this blog) for helping me better understand that.

  12. Mandy,

    I too can not quite believe its been 11 months. Looking at Peanut today, charging about the house to "help" get ready to go to school, I caught a glimpse of that same free spirit that is Hudson's trademark. Never a day goes by that Hudson doesn't show up at our place in some fashion - in a smile, in a shared story, in a reminder that the openness to life she exhibits in these pictures now runs through our own child.

    Like you, we deeply mourn the loss of that spirit,that inquisitiveness, that complete devotion to experience life in each and every moment. As I have told you and Ed both so many times, the Three Musketeers are missing their leader, and we are missing a big piece of our hearts.

  13. She is am amazingly beautiful girl. I love looking at her pictures, and thank you for sharing them.


  14. What beautiful, happy pictures. I love her kicking.

  15. Thinking of you Mandy. I love that picture of her peering around the edge too, Erin Hutson

  16. She is so beautiful Mandy- you are right, i can see and feel her excitement for life and how she lit everyone's faces up around her. Thinking of you guys a lot - especially his month. Cant imagine your mix of emotions - sending much love your way

  17. Oh how we miss that face as well...