Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life is a Circle

I wrote in my letter to the babies last night that Jackson was running a fever. A fever on the night of his life where he reached the age his sister was when she died from an infection that started with a fever.

He has had a nasty cough for about a week, but he worsened on Sunday and Monday. He had a very fitful night last night, and Ed and I took turns getting up with him every two hours or so, trying to help him feel better and get back to sleep. He slept on the couch with Ed for about an hour between 4 and 5, and then woke up again. When Ed tried to put him back to bed in his crib, he became inconsolable. I took over, and he was just beside himself. He didn’t want to be put down. He didn’t want to be picked up. He didn’t want to sit in my lap. He didn’t want me to touch him. I was at a loss for what to do.

Finally, I just let him wander around in the dark a little bit while I laid down on the carpeted floor. He came back over to me and I gently laid him down beside me. He started to cry again and rolled away from me, but I just sat quietly and waited. He reached out and touched my hair, which is now very short and very soft and fuzzy as it grows back in after the end of chemo a few months ago. He got quiet as he laid there in the dark, rubbing the top of my head. I was cold and uncomfortable on the floor, I was exhausted from being up every other hour through the night, and I was dreading getting up an hour later to go teach my 8:45 class. But as I laid there in the dark with his little hand on my head, listening as his breathing slowed into a soft rhythm, all I wanted to do was snuggle him even closer. I thought about how many times after Hudson died I longed for the opportunity to be kept up all night with a cranky little girl on my hands, how I longed for the chance to be frustrated out of my wits not knowing how to soothe her.

I grabbed a blanket, ignored the pain in my shoulder, tucked my head into the crook of his little body, and laid there for the next hour awake and aware, feeling so very grateful for this moment with him and so very grateful for this gift from her .


  1. Simply beautiful. Thanks Mandy.

  2. Another gift from Hudson to you and to her brother. I can so clearly see you there, Mandy.

    With love,


  3. It's amazing that the exhaustion and frustration you write about is not actually palpable in this post - it's the calm gratitude that really comes through. Hudson has made so many of us better parents (better people, really) and our children feel every ounce of that as a result. Big hugs, lil J, and speedy recovery.

  4. Oh Mandy, what an amazing post. I am sorry that you had to face a fever in your 2nd baby on the day he reached the saddest milestone of your 1st. Your gratitude and presence is inspiring and amazing.

  5. Mandy, We spent Saturday morning at the Arboretum, and Hudson was constantly on my mind. You have shared such beautiful pictures of her there and told so openly of healing moments you spent there that I felt her presence throughout our visit. How amazing that you have brought Hudson to life for so many people who never even had the pleasure of knowing her. Sending wishes of comfort and peace to y'all.