Sunday, November 27, 2011

Do One Good Thing for Hudson’s Third Birthday

Somehow—and I have no idea how—Hudson’s birthday is here again. Thursday, December 1 is the day she should be turning three. Three. She would be more than twice the age she was when last we knew her. Three seems so very big to me. So very much kid and so very little toddler anymore. An entirely different person than the little girl who had just barely grown out of her baby fat.
Like so many things during this second year, Hudson’s birthday snuck up on me, in the sense that unlike last year, I have not spent the last few weeks brooding over it and dreading it. I’ve known it was coming, but I haven’t felt like digging my heels in the sand and closing my eyes against it like I did the first time. I have no idea what that means—it must be at least the very beginning of what grief experts call “integration,” although the very idea of that still stops me in my tracks. I don’t want Hudson’s death to be integrated into our lives. Ever. Ultimately, it will happen anyway, and the best I can hope for is to not be psychically kicking and screaming the entire way. So I guess I should be grateful that the passage of time has taken some of the sting out of the coming week. But the way I have been feeling the last day or so is warning me that I am hardly out of the woods.

As we did last year, and as we plan to do for every future year as long as we live, we are going to honor Hudson’s birthday by doing some giving. As I explained last year, the very essence of One Good Thing is finding ways in which something good can come out of something so incredibly awful. We will be doing the same things we did last year (read more about it here): taking Elmo toys and Hudson’s favorite books to Dr. Bear’s Closet at Children’s Hospital, donating some yummy dog treats and toys to the Washington Humane Society, and giving again to the National Arboretum, one of our favorite places to visit with our girl, where we (with the generosity of so many others) have placed a bench in her memory and scattered a small portion of her ashes.

Again, we invite you (and anyone else you think might be interested) to help us celebrate Hudson’s third birthday by doing One Good Thing for the world sometime this week. It can be as simple as paying for a stranger’s coffee or dropping a toy off at your local Angel Tree. Whatever moves you will be a wonderful tribute to our sweet girl on her birthday. Like last year, if you are so inclined, please leave a comment here on the blog to share with us what you did. And please feel free to share this with anyone else you think might be interested. 

As I said last year, we can’t stop it from coming. We can’t bring Hudson back. But in the spirit of the lesson she taught us, we can continue to help her light shine in the world by finding the One Good Thing, and this week, that means doing One Good Thing.


  1. I am so there. Already planned it out. Will report back after I successfully complete my mission.

  2. Hi Mandy,
    Wanted to tell you that I'm still here and reading..your photos of your babies in the last few posts are just adorable, and I'm also thinking of you at this time of year. I love your idea of giving for little Hudson's birthday, and am thinking of a way I can do that within our family. Sending lots of love to you all, especially this week,

  3. We made a small donation to the Turtle Survival Alliance for your girl's third birthday. Always keeping an eye out for One Good Thing - will continue to spread the word, too. Big hugs to you guys!

  4. The second year is very different, perhaps less painful but heavier some way.

    I will be thinking of you all week.

  5. a priest in North CarolinaNovember 29, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    Bless you for this. I shall post it on my church's Facebook page. Love to you.

  6. Mandy, This year we adopted a five-year-old little boy through Wake County HHS's Holiday Cheer program (via my work). We have purchased all of the items on his Christmas list, from a winter coat to a remote control car. We will wrap these gifts on Thursday in honor of Hudson's 3rd birthday. Much love to you, Andrea

  7. In honor of Hudson, we donated to the Gulf Specimen Marine Labs near our new home in FL... in recognition of their work with sea turtles.
    Rachel C.

  8. I donated to the Meningitis Foundation of America in memory of Hudson and in memory of my cousin that we lost many years ago also to meningitis. I also donated to Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte in honor of a coworker who's son is currently battling cancer there. Thanks for continuing to inspire!

  9. We are donating soe unused clothes clothes and toys to help make the holidays brighter for some kids.
    Hugs to you!

    Andrea GG

  10. In honor of Hudson's birthday, I gave to Children's and the Arboretum and a number of other charities that are on my annual list - it felt great to do it all at once, and I think Dec 1 may be my giving day from now on. Thinking of you and your sweet girl.


  11. Mandy--the Lawless family made a donation to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Island, NC in memory and honor of Hudson. I've been sending you and Ed love all day today.

  12. When thinking of the One Good Thing for Hudson's birthday, I like to think of a memory I have of her- not a memory I have personally experienced, but one that seems more real thanks to your prolific picture-taking! This year, I was thinking about those pictures of her visit to her aunt's farm up here in Illinois. So I decided to go to OxFam and buy a family an animal like a goat or a chicken. I got Eve involved, as I plan to do every year. She overruled me and chose the vegetable garden, which I think your voracious eater would have loved too.

  13. Today, thinking of you and Hudson, I decided that rather than sell our unneeded baby stuff we will donate every single bit to people who need it. Item one, a solid and expensive stroller, was gladly collected from our path this morning by a happy, worn-out-looking parent. I can't tell you how good it felt to know we were making a tangible difference for this one little family. I'm just now looking for shelters that might need our crib. Cheers to Hudson's sweet, radiant little soul, and love to you.

  14. I brought some hot soup and OJ to a friend who was feeling ill.

    Thinking of your family and Hudson all day. Three does seem awfully big...
    Happy birthday little sweet heart.