Monday, May 16, 2011

Hudson’s Bench

Before last week, Hudson’s body and spirit already permanently occupied the National Arboretum—on her birthday, we sprinkled a small portion of her ashes under a large dogwood tree in the Dogwood Collection, and quite honestly, I don’t think you can visit the place without feeling her everywhere. I know I can’t.

But now, her bench has provided us with a beautiful and tangible memorial of her, one that we can all see and touch, one on which generations of people of all ages can climb, play, cry, laugh, hold hands, kiss, rest, think, and ponder about this special little girl who inspired such a gift. We will be forever grateful to our friends Kim and Shawn for organizing the fundraising effort for the placement of the bench, and to the dozens of loved ones who contributed to this very special tribute to our girl. Because they raised more than double the amount required, Hudson’s bench will be in this very special place for more than thirty years. Amazing.

Many friends and family, including many of Hudson’s little friends, gathered with us at the Arboretum on Friday, the anniversary of Hudson’s death, to remember her, dedicate her bench, and blow bubbles to send her spirit off on an eternal mission of bringing more love and light to the world. We shared some words and some bubbles, and sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” one of Hudson’s favorites (her favorite parts were “Up above the world so high,” where she would sing “uppabubba” and “Like a diamond in the sky,” where she would hold her two pointer fingers together in the air, more of a roof than a diamond, but she was always very pleased with herself).

Our dear friend, Kirsten, was kind enough to take photos for us. The photos so beautifully capture how perfect this remembrance was for our girl and I wanted to share them with you. Thank you again to everyone who was there with us both in person and in spirit. I am working on collecting all the bubble photos together and will post about them soon, too.

I hope that you will have a chance to visit Hudson’s bench someday and spend some time with her there. It will be the site of many a family pilgrimage and photo for us (including some very soon once Jackson arrives), and although I wish more than anything that it had no reason to exist, if I can’t have my girl, I’m grateful to have such a special place to be with her. It is most certainly One Good Thing.


  1. Beautiful pictures, beautiful words.

  2. Suzanne ReynoldsMay 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    What a special place for a special child. I look forward to visiting there with her.

  3. Wonderful pictures... what a beautiful spot for remembering your sweet girl...

    Love to all of you,

  4. The spot is lovely. I really hope I'm lucky enough to visit with Hudson there one day. And I must say, your smile here is so different from the photo of you in Paris at Christmas--whether it's due to the passage of time, the love and support extended to you on this difficult day, or the presence of Hudson close by, it is beautiful to see.

    Here's to more smiles (very soon!!!). Love to you all.

  5. Mandy,
    I'm so glad you found a way to honor Hudson's life on a day that could have felt so tragic. What a beautiful bench. I love the picture of you and your husband blowing bubbles your faces shining with hope.
    Be good to yourself.

  6. Looks like it was a beautiful moment - I hope I can visit it some day soon and blow bubbles with Radha for Hudson.

  7. Such beautiful pictures Mandy.. thank you so much for posting them. You and Ed could not have chosen a more beautiful location to honor your daughter's memory...

  8. How beautiful Mandy.

  9. "It is most certainly One Good Thing."

    It most certainly is. I'm tearing up reading this. What lovely photos and I like the words on the placard on the bench.


  10. What a beautiful tribute to your Hudson, your sweet girl.

    I was brought to tears and a smile at the same time while reading the paragraph about "Twinkle Twinkle." My 23-month-old daughter sings it almost the same way: "uppabubbpa...hiiiiiigh." I can imagine Hudson sang it with the same gleeful enthusiasm.