Where even to begin? There are so many places I could start after such a long hiatus, but the most important one, perhaps, is to thank so many of you who have continued to return to this page regularly to check in on us. So thank you.
We are here. I am here. I am, in fact, much more than just here, which perhaps accounts in part for this writer’s block/avoidance of many months. Even after all this time spent thinking, pondering, mulling—I can still barely begin to process all the events of the last year, and of the last half-year in particular.
You see, I learned in December that we are having another baby. Not even three months after finishing chemotherapy, and with no help from our fertility preservation doctors, I turned up pregnant. Let that one sink in a minute. Or, if you are like me, it will take a lot longer than that.
And then, about a month later, we learned that we are having another daughter. Another little girl. Another sister for Jackson. Another sibling who will wear Hudson’s clothes and kiss her picture and say her name but never know her in life.
And then, about two months after that, we finally moved into our newly renovated house. A house that Hudson never knew. With floors that her little feet never padded across. With a front door she never stared out of. With drawers that she never emptied. A house in which we plan to spend the rest of our lives, even though such a huge part of our lives is missing from it and always will be.
And then, here it is May again. In twelve days, it will have been three years since we last saw our little girl.
In just one year, a cancer diagnosis and (hopefully) a cure, a new (old) town, a new home, the prospect of a new baby. The beginning, at last, of what will be the rest of our lives. All of this without Hudson. All of this without the child who turned us into parents, the child who turned me into a mother, the child who made me feel for the first time like my life had begun in earnest.
I am at a complete loss. More than ever, it feels as though we are moving on without her. She lives in this home only in the forms of ashes, photos, many precious memories, her smile on her brother’s face, and a deep and abiding love and longing for her. I know these things are not nothing. They are not really “only.” They are so much. But as I predicted so long ago—not very long after she died—the gaping dark hole that her death ripped into the fabric of our lives feels different three years, another child, one cancer diagnosis, one new town, one new house, and a third pregnancy later. It’s not that the hole has gotten smaller in absolute terms—it’s that our lives have gotten bigger, so the hole is smaller in comparison to the rest of it. And as I predicted many times then, I fucking hate how much smaller, relatively, it has grown. I not infrequently find myself wishing we could all go back to those first several days after Hudson died, when her death was the center of our world and the worlds of everyone around us, when it seemed like indeed the entire world had stopped going when she stopped being, even for just a few moments. Because sometimes I still want the world to just stop. I want it to stop turning and turning and turning without her.
But it doesn’t, of course. It keeps going. We keep going. May keeps coming. We keep honoring the anniversary of Hudson’s death one May day and celebrating her little brother’s birth not many days after.
Imagine that. Five months without a substantive post, and as it turns out, I can still really only say the same thing I have been saying all along. I miss her. I want her back. I can’t have her back. So I go on. I go on and make, if I can, the very most of all that she left behind.
“May, she will stay… resting in my arms again.”