I am so very grateful to my precious daughter for the gift of inspiring us to live our lives fully at every chance we get. Not a weekend day goes by anymore that Ed and I don’t wake up thinking, “What adventure can we find today?” There’s no doubt that we did lots and lots of fun things with Hudson regularly—our many wonderful photos of her are evidence of that—but now, we see it so differently. Now it’s an imperative. Not only do we know in a way that few others do how short life can be, but we also feel that we owe it to our girl to live the best lives that we can, because she will never get that chance. We want our lives and our children’s lives to be full of adventure. And adventure can mean anything from a bike ride to a zoo trip to a Saturday spent at home building a fort or jumping in the piles of leaves we just raked or snuggling up together with a favorite book or movie and a cup of hot chocolate.
By the same token, I am so grateful for my sweetest Jackson (and I’m sure this is not the last time during these Days of Thanks that I will write about how grateful I am for my children), for there is no doubt that his presence in our lives has helped us move beyond just yearning to live our lives fully again (which we found so hard to do with our beloved little girl gone) and actually begin to do it.
Of course, every adventure for the rest of our lives will be bittersweet. Today’s adventure took us to beautiful Mount Vernon, where I couldn’t help but imagine how much Hudson would have loved the sheep and the geese and the water and the Christmas trees and her little brother and just running around in all that open space. But that, too, I suppose, is a gift for which I must be grateful. On the one hand, imagining her in these spaces might seem like focusing on what’s missing rather than enjoying what’s here. But another way to look at it is that imagining her in these spaces just helps keep her close to us, and to me, that can only be a good thing.
Here’s to a lifetime of adventure for us all, with Hudson always in our hearts.