Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day

I waited most of this day to write, hoping to be inspired to say something profound about Mother’s Day, something about being a motherless daughter and a childless mother on a day that is all about celebrating mothers, something helpful to all my other mama-friends who have lost their children, something uplifting and celebratory. 

But I have nothing profound or uplifting to say. I have little to say at all. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day Hudson started slipping away from us.

And all I can think about is this:

All I can think about is how I spent most of last Mother’s Day (and the wretched day after) with my girl resting in just this position, sleeping quietly on my chest, hopefully recovering from whatever bug was plaguing her, and how I held her again in this position four days later, just after she died

All I can think about is how grateful I am to that amazing little girl who made me a mother, how privileged I am to be her mother, and how lucky I was to be able to mother her so much during the last days she spent at home.

All I can think about are the fateful decisions we made that day and during the next 18 hours, decisions that, if they’d been different, might have meant she’d be with us here today. I spent the last few days hoping that my sweet Jackson might decide to be born today, perhaps granting me some kind of decisive absolution from my two children, an ultimate gesture from the two of them telling me that it is all okay, that I did everything that I could, and that even though it wasn’t enough to save Hudson’s life, I am still a good mommy and will be one again. I know that may seem ridiculous, but that is just where I am today.

It’s Mother’s Day. I miss my little girl. And that’s about all I can say.


  1. Mandy, You've been on my mind all day. YOU are an amazing mother. Though I know it means little, given that you are without your sweet girl, thank you for sharing yourself and your girl with us. Thank you for offering such beautiful insights into the intricacies of mothering. Thank you for lifting others up in Light and hope, most especially when you don't think or know that you are. Today, of all days, leaves me wishing for a magic wand...
    With love,
    Rachel C.

  2. I have checked here a few times today because I've been thinking about you and Hudson. This post brought tears to my eyes. It's obvious how lucky Hudson was to have you as her mother. I hope that Jackson will arrive soon, and perhaps, that can be your own personal Mother's Day. You deserve it.

  3. We're all chanting it, Mandy-- You did everything you could. You are, have been, and will continue to be a great mommy. Everyone you know, and those who barely know you-- we're all chanting it.

  4. I can't say it better: I'm with Deborah. You did everything you could, and you were and are a wonderful mother to that beautiful girl.
    Much love,

  5. You are a wonderful mother. It comes across in every word you write, in every post. Please don't ever doubt that.


  6. Mandy, every time I read one of your posts I just reflect on how truly wonderful of a mother that you are. Hudson was so blessed with everything you did for her. You will be fabulous with Jackson, too. Please know that there are many of us who are thinking of you today and praying for you. hugs, Cathy

  7. Mandy, I've no doubt that you did everything to save Hudson's life. It's part of the process of mourning to go through every detail and try to figure out how, if you'd done something different, the whole universe wouldn't have gone so horribly wrong. You continue to be in my prayers.

  8. There is no question that you are a wonderful mother, Mandy. In some of my darkest moments over this past year of being a new mom, I have many times wondered "What would Mandy do in this situation?" Your absolute devotion and love for your daughter and for mothering have come across in each of your posts. It is something to which I aspire.

    I wish for you that gesture that you seek from your two children.

    Lisa S

  9. You are a beautiful, strong, pained and learned mother Mandy. You parent in a world that no mother or father should have to understand. Tonight, through many tears I have re-read so much of Hudson's story and the best I can come up with is the ever resounding 'why'. 'Why' to any of it.. to all of it. Through the past year you have endured a life that few could ever bear to walk. There is nothing anyone expects from you.. no words of wisdom or epitaphs of joyous revelations amongst the darkness. Take each of the next days as they come.. be gentle with yourself and know that your daughter's life will be remembered, celebrated and cherished by all those who have come to know her.
    We are with Mandy...

  10. You are a wonderful Mom to both your daughter and son. Happy Mother's Day, Mandy!

  11. Hi Mandy, am still reading and thinking about you often..especially on Mother's Day..sending you lots of love and prayers over the coming few weeks.Kell

  12. I had many thoughts of you and Hudson today, Mandy. It must be so hard to be without her. We blew bubbles and wished you could be doing the same with your sweet girl. It was hard to just be in the moment, knowing how much you must miss such ordinary pleasures. I was grateful for it, trying to respect how fragile a gift life is.

  13. On this picture Hudson reminds me so much of my own little girl who died a few months ago. All I want to do is to hug my little girl like that again. That's the hardest bit, not being able to hug her anymore.

  14. Mandy, I hope that you won't have to carry around the guilt, along with your grief, always. I'm so sorry you have to wonder those "what ifs." I stand by all my earlier comments that you went above and beyond what even the most diligent parents would have done. The more I've learned over this past year about how Hudson was in her final days at home, the more I am shocked at what happened. The fact that she ate a big dinner and entertained you all that evening - there was just no way to know and nothing more you could have done. Please don't forget that you went to the doctor first thing in the morning.

    I will be thinking of you and Ed and Hudson (and little Jackson on the way) all this week in a special way. My prayer for you all is that you may feel joy and hope even in the midst of your terrible grief.

    Love, Kate Z.

  15. Mandy,

    Your family is on my mind. Hope you find strength to get your through this week.


  16. The road you are on is the roughest one, I know; from months of reading your story, I know that you honor Hudson's memory with such grace and love on Mother's Day and every day.

  17. I thought about you alot yesterday, Mandy. ((hugs))

  18. My dear friend, you WERE and ARE a wonderful mother. You made the BEST decisions you could based on the information you had at the time.
    If tragedies could be so easily predicted, there would be no tragedies.

    Sometimes I think, no matter how hard we may try to control our destinies, fate intervenes. And I don't say this flippantly...I think this about my own situation...maybe it just wasn't meant to be.

    Love and light to you.

  19. Thinking of you yesterday, today, and most everyday, Mandy. Especially on Mother's Day, as you struggle to find your place and footing again, I pray you find peace in the arms of loved ones and peace knowing you are in the hearts of many more. At church yesterday they showed the story of a woman who lost a baby just after birth and then became a foster parent, only to have that little girl taken back by her father just as she and her husband were planning to adopt her. Finally, she became pregnant again, and after a troubled pregnancy, was able to give birth to a perfect, healthy baby. She described the past several years as a desert, and the people who helped her through it and lifted her up as drinks of water. I hope you, too, find yourself refreshed with kind words and soothing reassurances, from friends, from family, from other mothers and, most of all, from your children. I hope that Jackson's impending birth is like a rainshower of the very best kind.

    You are a remarkable, remarkable woman. Sending much love to you tonight and always.

  20. Thinking of you, Ed, Hudson, and Jackson.
    Big hugs,

  21. Thinking about you especially this week.

  22. tried to post this a few days ago - but it wasnt working. so here i go again:

    Mandy - like many of the other people who have commented here, i Often
    find myself thinking about what you would do in a situation (as a
    mom). So many times, I think about all of the amazing things you did
    for Hudson and how you continuously inspire me (and clearly many
    others) to be a better mom. I too have been thinking about you and
    your family this weekend and week and send you my love - if only it
    could help. I can't even imagine all of the feelings you are going
    through - I cry almost every time i think of it. I look forward to the
    joy Jackson will be bringing into your lives soon.
    Lots of love