Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bath Time

Jackson loves the bath just as much as his big sister did. We’ve started him on the same nightly ritual we had with Hudson, with a nice warm bath before a bottle and bedtime. In not too long, we’ll add books in there, too. As you can see, he’s as big a fan as she was.

At first, we were using the baby tub on top of the kitchen sink downstairs, but this past week, we moved it upstairs into the bathroom, where we always bathed Hudson. Which means that the little blue tub that lived on our bathroom floor every day for most of Hudson’s life finally lives there again. It still has the remnants of Hudson’s diaper cream on the bottom on the toddler side—her teacher at day care was always a little overly generous with the diaper cream, and much of it ended up on the bottom of the tub. Ed scrubbed it and scrubbed it but couldn’t get all the white off.

Lately I have been grappling once again with the reality that Hudson is never coming back, that I will never see her again, that I will miss her each and every day of the rest of my life. Every moment of every day with my sweet boy reminds me of my sweet girl. He’ll keep hitting all the milestones she did, and I will remember. And one day, he’ll start hitting milestones she never reached, and all I will be able to do is imagine.

Only a little over a year out, I am already so tired of missing her. I don’t want to have to miss her for the rest of my life. I don’t want memories and imaginings. I want her. I want her here. Every minute of every day, I want her here.

But I can’t have her. All I get is memories and imaginings, and somehow I have to learn to live with that. For the rest of my life. So for today, I will say that I’m happy that the little blue tub lives on our bathroom floor again. But I hope that white diaper cream stain never disappears.


  1. Mandy,

    I am so very sorry. I know it doesn't cut it but those words are all that I have right now. I do have to say what a beautiful reminder you have of
    your sweet girl you have in that little guy. I just cannot
    get over how very much they look a like.

    Sending love,

  2. I love the first photo... a sort of satisfied smile creeping across his beautiful face.
    The joy and pain continue to coexist in such poignant and powerful ways... how deeply you love, how richly you experience, how powerfully you feel. I don't have any words other than sorrow that she is not with you physically, appreciation that you continue to share the richness of your processing and perspectives, and admiration for how fully you have and continue to live the moment. Hugs.
    Rachel C.

  3. Mandy, C.S. Lewis wrote that the depth of our grief is the same as the depth of our love...of course Jackson reminds you of Hudson with each milestone. Breathe deeply and take it moment by moment when necessary. I love you.

  4. The constant longing for your girl sounds exhausting. I'm so sorry.

  5. Jackson is such a beautiful baby, Mandy! I just can't stop looking at his face.

    I know the pain of losing Hudson is constant (and that it will last forever) but I also know that you will learn to live with her absence in the most graceful and beautiful way possible. Because that's the kind of person you are.

    It's not fair, and it will never be fair. But as I've told myself often over the last year - this is the way that it happened. There is no changing it, no matter how much we ache to do so. There is only living with it and wrenching as much joy from our lives as we possibly can. And there is still so much about life that is beautiful.

    Sending much love.

  6. Mandy,
    I totally get your weariness - try as you might, you'll never be able to hide that from those of us who love you. Just remember that as you grow weary, no matter how long or how often, we're also here to lift you up in any way we can.

    And Jackson is here to lift you up too - just put his pictures beside Hudson's, and tell me that's NOT his sister smiling through as he plays in the still warmness!

  7. He looks so very contented in that first picture, he really does love his bath.

    It is tiring. I have so little to conjure with, to remind me, in comparison and I am tired. I simply can't imagine.

    Thinking of you, Jackson and your dear Hudson xo

  8. Hudson shines through Jackson's eyes in every photo. Your children, together with you for always.