Tag Archives: Forget-Me-Not Foundation

Touched…

I’m overwhelmed in the best way. In just 24 hours we’ve raised almost $500 for the Forget-Me-Not Foundation. Thank you, wonderful, generous, caring friends and family for your support. My Hudson candle is lit and my heart is full.

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Brokenhearted, but hopeful

This morning, my heart broke.

photo(2)The inside of that heart is with Hudson, and the outside, which I’ve worn on my wrist or around my neck every day since I got it, is now broken.

It was kind of a shit start to the first day in The Week.

From Monday to Sunday, we will pass the day we went into labor (the 10th), the day Hudson was born (the 11th), and the day that Hudson died (the 14th).

I was so sure I could sail through The Week relatively un-phased, and then my heart broke.

I was in a hurry to throw my bags in the car and get on the road for work, and I must have caught the edge just right. I just stared in horror at the fragments on my garage floor, the ruby chain dangling haphazardly from my wrist. I wanted to cry. I felt sick. I thought this heart could withstand the heat of cremation. How did this little tap against my car door shatter my heart?

Sometimes the tiniest things can shatter you.

I’ve figured out how I’m spending Hudson’s birthday this year. It’s mostly small personal things. But there is one big thing that has been on my heart, that I’d like to share today.

I started my day with a broken heart, but after work, I went to check the mail, and in it was a letter from C at the Forget-Me-Not Foundation. She had handwritten a card to the Hubs and I, letting us know she was thinking of us this week, almost a year from when she met us and our beautiful Hudson. She said she still can picture us standing over Hudson’s bed, reading stories to her.

One of my favorite memories of Hudson is also one of the strongest memories someone else has of me. How nice.

I would like to make a large donation to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation in honor of Hudson’s birthday this year. In order to do that, for this entire week, 100% of the income from any Hudson’s Heroes teeshirt orders will go to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation, plus I’ll match the amount (so if you buy a $15 shirt, I’ll donate $30 to Forget-Me-Not). I’ve got short and long-sleeved in a variety of sizes. To order a teeshirt and have the full amount sent to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation, you can click on the “Donate” tab at the top of the blog, fill out your information and I’ll take care of the rest.

If you choose to make a donation directly to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation in Hudson’s name, I will mail you a Hudson’s Heroes teeshirt as a thank you.

To give online, visit this link and under Designation, select “Other”, then type in “Forget-Me-Not Foundation”. In the comments, you can enter “imo Hudson Ruth Walter”.

You can also mail your donation directly to:

Providence Health Care Foundation, Eastern Washington
c/o Forget-Me-Not Foundation
PO Box 2555
Spokane, Washington 99220-2555

In the memo on your check you can enter “imo Hudson Ruth Walter”.

Grandma and Grandpa Dub have made  contributions in Hudson’s name on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and have promised to do so again to celebrate Hudson’s birthday each year. Grandma Shiz has “sold” some of her photography work in exchange for donations to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation. I feel blessed and touched every time I get a letter from the organization saying that yet another donation has been made in our precious daughter’s memory. I am excited to contribute in another big way to celebrate Hudson’s first birthday, and hope that those with means will find it in their hearts to help make a big impact for families who face the loss of an infant.

Sure, I started the week with a broken heart. But I can and will spend the rest of this week offering hope to others.

It’s the least I can do in memory of our beautiful fighter.

 

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Seven Months

Here we go again. Another month passed, another milestone, another mini-birthday we’re missing with Hudson.

Seven months.

I’m guessing I’d have had to buy some baby clothes by now. The 0-3 and 3-6 month outfits we were given as gifts/hand-me-downs would probably have sustained us to this point, but my 6-9 stash is a little lighter. I’m sure Momma Sue would be happy to subsidize an entire winter-to-spring wardrobe for our no-longer-little baby girl.

What else happens at 7 months? Mobility, maybe some crawling attempts. Maybe we’d start introducing a little mashed up veggie goo to our girl’s diet. Maybe that would make for some grody diapers. Maybe she’d be working on some gibberish noises that I’ll convince myself are “Momma” and “Dada.”

But we don’t have a seven month old today. We have a seven month old heartache. A seven month old missing piece. A seven month empty family.

This weekend, a younger couple that I went to school with lost their baby boy. Different circumstances, but same heartbreaking result. A totally uneventful pregnancy was followed by a sudden and irreversible disaster. Devastation. Parenthood and loss in the span of 24 hours. My heart throbbed all day when I heard. I don’t know the couple well, but I know where they are right now, and I know that it is a very, very dark place. No matter what kind of a support system they have (and I hope and pray they have a tremendous one like the Hubs and I do), the next days and weeks in their life will be their worst.

You do start to come out of it, slowly, day by day, moment by moment, one heartbeat, one breath to the next. You laugh at things sooner than you think. You catch yourself in the middle of the afternoon and realize that you haven’t cried yet. You start to get hopeful, you start to believe that life will be alright, you gain confidence that you can, in fact, face the world and even participate in it. You can be this new person.

I know this because I’ve lived it. But they don’t know this yet.

After Hudson died, I could not wrap my mind around time passing. I was told to wait 6 months before trying to get pregnant again, and I bawled about it the rest of the day. Time couldn’t pass fast enough for me. I’d mark off the weeks from Hudson’s birth, from her death. But I don’t do that anymore. I do become painfully aware of the 11th, and of the 14th, but on any given Wednesday I couldn’t tell you the number of weeks it has been since Hudson was born.

Looking back on the past seven months, it doesn’t seem like it could possibly have been that long. I’ve left a job and started a new one. I’ve written a novel. I’ve run a half marathon and raised over $1000 for the Forget-Me-Not Foundation with Hudson’s Heroes teeshirts. We’ve paid off all the medical bills. We’ve bought a new kitchen table, installed a ceiling fan, put in a tile back splash in the kitchen. I’ve held other babies and been to baby showers and been to baby birthday parties and somehow did it all without completely falling apart. I’ve fallen more in love with my husband than I ever thought was possible. My life has changed in ways I’d never have planned for myself. The last 7 months have felt like mere moments and eternities at the same time.

A lot of healing can happen in 7 months.

 

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Merry Christmas

I never did stumble upon any genius ideas for holiday memorials for Hudson. But other people in our lives thought of her, and those thoughts made their way to our Christmas tree. Merry Christmas. Bring on 2013.

A handmade ornament from Auntie Nicole

A handmade ornament from Auntie Nicole

An ornament with one of our favorite pictures, from Momma Sue

An ornament with one of our favorite pictures, from Momma Sue

Forget-Me-Not Angel

A gift sent from the Forget-Me-Not foundation

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Firsts

After the Hubs and I got married, I remember getting all gooey and sentimental about our “firsts.”

“It’s our first married plane ride!”
“This is our first married Christmas!”
“Oh my gosh, this is our first married grocery shopping trip!”

I may or may not have saved the receipt from that one.

Since Hudson died, I’ve had a new set of “firsts” – not ones I necessarily get gooey or sentimental over, but emotional firsts all the same.

The first time I held a baby after Hudson.

Don't I look like I'm going to eat this little guy?

Don’t I look like I’m going to eat this little guy?

The first trip into a Carters to buy baby clothes as a gift, the recipient of which was the little man pictured above. That will get its whole own blog post, probably.

The first baby shower for a friend (another one that will get its own dedicated blog post, likely).

The first Thanksgiving.

And soon, the first Christmas.

I have been wracking my brains for ways to remember Hudson this holiday season, to make a new tradition of celebrating Hudson’s life during this time when we celebrate the life of another pretty remarkable baby (“Dear Eight Pound, Six Ounce, Newborn Baby Jesus, don’t even know a word yet, just a little infant, so cuddly, but still omnipotent…” Talladega Nights, anyone?).

If only I were shopping for frivolous baby outfits and 6-month old toys this week, instead of trying to figure out a holiday memorial for her.

The Forget-Me-Not Foundation sent the Hubs and I a card and a little angel ornament, something to put on the tree to remind us of our “angel baby.” We talked about making a big family donation to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation in Hudson’s name for Christmas. I even read on some grief and loss forum about a woman who was planning to still shop for her daughter (who was stillborn), but was going to donate the gifts to Toys for Tots. I didn’t even shop much for Hudson when I was pregnant. I sort of wish I had indulged that little temptation more now, but I was so sure I’d have a lifetime to dress her up, entertain her, teach her.

While I’m still a little at a loss for ways to make Hudson a part of our Christmas celebration this year, I do find myself looking forward to a lot of firsts.

How about:
First positive pregnancy test
First sound of Hudson’s baby sibling’s cries
First diaper blow out
First sleepless night
First word
First grade
First boyfriend/girlfriend
First job
First grandbaby (hey, why not? I’m looking WAY forward here!)

Everything now is a “first” without Hudson – and that is the sentence for a lifetime of making bittersweet memories. But I’m determined to face these firsts with a heart full of hope, not dread. No matter how profoundly or meaningfully we chose to celebrate Hudson this Christmas, I know it will still be a shitty Christmas without her. But maybe our second Christmas without Hudson will also be our first Christmas with Baby Dub Dos.

And Baby Dub Dos will be the first of his/her kind.

I won’t live my entire life in the shadow of Firsts Without…

 

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#GivingTuesday

It’s that time of year – when every day of the week gets a sweet hashtag.

#CyberMonday
#BlackFriday
#SmallBusinessSaturday

and my new favorite:

#GivingTuesday

This is a time of massive spending across the world (Happy Birthday, Jesus!), and that’s fine. We are blessed, even in this tough economy, to be able to celebrate this time of year, give gifts, be Secret Santas, stuff stockings, etc. I personally am very much looking forward to some of the Dub and Shiz family traditions in the coming weeks. I have even started my own “Wish List” – little things I might want or need this year that I would never buy for myself, like a beer brewing kit or instructional photography DVDs.

Do not think that I am by any means intending to condemn Christmas and Holiday spending. Go to town, folks. Let’s boost our economy.

But on this one day, #GivingTuesday, maybe we can do some giving that makes a real, positive difference.

Make some cookies and deliver them to somebody you know who is having a tough holiday.
Donate some books to the Goodwill.
Write a fat check to your favorite non-profit.

Today, I donated $100 to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation in Hudson’s name. I have been making small donations over the past few months as people have purchased the Hudson’s Heroes teeshirts. If you are looking for a worthy cause to donate a little cash to, I would highly recommend the Forget-Me-Not Foundation.

This organization provided us with something you simply cannot put a price tag on, something I can’t put on my holiday wish list and something that I wouldn’t trade for any amount of cashola: memories with and of our beautiful, precious, once-in-a-lifetime daughter Hudson. Without this organization, I might not have a sweet teddy bear that plays Hudson’s heartbeat when you squeeze it. I would probably not have the 3D molds of her cute little feet. I wouldn’t have a disc of pictures taken by a professional photographer who donated her time to capture the last days of our daughter’s life (this is one treat that I’m saving to look at, knowing at this point that these are the last photographs I’ll ever see of our baby).

So make your list, check it twice. Then be a little nice, and do something today for #GivingTuesday.

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