Saturday, December 24, 2011

Days of Thanks #31

Tonight, on Christmas Eve, our second without Hudson, I am feeling so very grateful for my memories of the two Christmases we had with her. 

My family and I just watched some old home videos that no one but my dad had ever seen. They were actually of Christmas 2001, ten years ago, and almost exactly one year before my mother died. We watched long, wonderful minutes of video of my mom, a rare treasure in our home—she never liked being photographed or videotaped. It’s almost like she knew she was seriously ill (she wasn’t diagnosed for another four months after that) and so she wanted us to be able to have these memories of her. I stared into the TV, barely able to remember a mom so vibrant and beautiful—she was always in her element on Christmas morning. It was probably her best day of every year. It would be only a few short months after that when she would start dropping weight and start becoming the gaunt shadow of a person she used to be. I cried and cried watching her, remembering so fondly those Christmases she made so very special for all of us.

 All day long, we have been so busy—wrapping, doing last-minute grocery shopping, opening presents and eating Christmas dinner with Ed’s family (who we will not see tomorrow)—I haven’t had nearly enough time to spend with my memories of Hudson, time to grieve just as I also celebrate a first Christmas with our precious Jackson. After watching those videos of Mom, all I wanted to do was spend some time with my girl. I miss them both so much right now, it hurts. How much fun they would have had together on this holiday (as I was so tenderly reminded watching Mom’s face light up after grandchild upon grandchild opened gifts she had selected so carefully and wrapped so lovingly), especially this year, when Hudson would really be getting into Christmas and Santa for the first time.

So I came back to a quiet room and sat down to watch these slideshows I made last year of our Christmas memories with our girl. I ache to think of what a wondrous time of year this would be with her now. I miss her in a whole new way now, as I imagine what Christmas would be like with not one, but two excited kids being fawned all over by their cousins. Each of the songs in these videos hold so much meaning for me. I’m sure the reasons will be obvious. I am so grateful for the way that a photo or a video can take me right back to a precious moment in time, like Christmas with my dear mom or Christmas with my dear girl. 

Tomorrow, I will make the grief wait and I will enjoy Christmas morning with Jackson and my nieces and nephews. I will make new memories with our sweet boy as we continue to learn to live without his big sister. But tonight, I’m so very grateful to have such amazing Christmas memories with my Hudson, and I’m grateful to have a moment to sit and be sad that we will never make any more with her again.

I miss you so much, my dearest girl. I am crying for you tonight and wishing more than anything that you were here throwing sprinkles on a cookie for Santa and reading “The Night Before Christmas” with me and having a hard time going to sleep because you are so excited for tomorrow. My heart hurts with longing but it also bursts with the joy of these memories with you. I love you, sweetheart.


  1. Merry Christmas, Mandy. Big love to all of you. She is always with you.

  2. I know what you mean about feeling busy and not focusing on the memories. Today was all about my living children and now that they are asleep I am trying to find my special place with Cullen. I am thinking of you and your family tonight and wishing you a beautiful Christmas.. not the one we ever expected to have, but even so, one tinged with beauty amongst the tears.

  3. Hudson is with Jesus on his Birthday..with her spirit surrounding her wonderful family..she is with you now and forever..