This is Hudson.
She was born on December 1, 2008 into a joyous family who celebrated love and laughter and helping people every day.
She was fiesty and mischevious and knew a lot of words and loved to read books and eat and eat and eat.
On May 10, 2010 Hudson was very ill ill. Her mom, Mandy, took her to the pediatrician, and then to the emergency room, trying to find out what was making her sick.
Then, in the words of the doctor who oversaw Hudson's care, a "really fucking terrible" thing happened.
On May 13, Hudson died.
Mandy has started a blog, called One Good Thing. It was her plan, when Hudson was older, to teach her that in every bad situation, there is always one good thing to be found, and that it is our responsibility to make the effort to find it. This is so very much in keeping with the Mandy I know--whip-smart, with a huge heart and a passion for helping others. Her words are insightful, heartwrenching, and deeply meaningful.
Out of the terrible tragedy of Hudson's death, there have already been many good things: a fund to support PICU patients and families, the first of it's kind, at Children's Hospital in D.C.; a large collection of books in Hudson's honor being sent to her favorite library; a fund to support Hudson's daycare, St. Ann's Infant and Maternity House, that offers quality care for those who could otherwise not afford it. But there is a greater, more intangible gift, that is also being given.
That Hudson died is a cruel, mostrous thing--it should not have happened. But what I have been witness to after her death is transformative.
When Hudson first became ill, in this age of technology, it was via Facebook that most of us heard about it. Within hours, thousands of posts flooded into Mandy and Ed's pages, enveloping them in love and prayer and hope. During Hudson's memorial service here in North Carolina, there was present love so vast that you could almost physically feel it. To loose a child: it is a pain that I can't understand, can't get inside of. But to be there to support parents who are in that hell-- that is something I can try, ever so feebly and humbly, to do. To participate in loving-- fiercely, truly, and with a spirit of hope-- is a gift, even when it springs from tragedy.
It is my hope, and Mandy and Ed's as well, that Hudson's message of One Good Thing will travel far and wide. Her life, though too short, was one of light, and her light continues on.
St. Ann's Infant and Maternity House--Hudson's school, which provides affordable day care for low-income families