Tag Archives: life

The Baby Dub Blog Book

I have been encouraged by many people, some close and some not-so-close, to turn this blog into a book.

I am going to do that.

In planning said book, I wanted to include some of the stuff from when I was pregnant with Hudson, some of the blissful-unawares, the funny musings of a pregnant woman who didn’t know what kind of hell was coming next. But I’ve been putting off the project because, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how well I would handle reading back over the early writings. To read what it was like to be pregnant, to be reminded of all the beautiful fun, to see what I thought was so rough, well, I didn’t know if I could take it.

But this afternoon I spend some time editing the first part of the book – the Pregnancy part.

And I LOVED reading it.

I miss being pregnant with Hudson so much, and I am so glad that I captured so much of the experience here in this blog. The first doctor’s appointment. The first time the Hubs felt her kick. Sharing the news we were having a girl. The last hour has been spent alternating between laughter and tears, all a pretty amazing trip down memory lane to a much better time, a different me.

And then, I came to this post, from my birthday last year, from the day my Grandpa died.

Losing a family member is never fun, but it does force you to reflect on the lives they’d led, on the way they’ve impacted who you’ve become, and on how you want to impact the lives of those around you. […] As hard as it is to lose somebody, death, just like life, should be a celebration. Where a new life gives us reason to celebrate potential, memories to be made, dreams to be dreamed and anything that’s possible, death gives us reason to celebrate the contribution of one person to the world, to celebrate the things that would never have been the same without that person, and celebrate our remaining chance to be important and make a difference for those in our lives.
Either way, celebrate.
If nothing else, life deserves to be a celebration.

When I first told my good friend and writing buddy TGF about the idea of turning the blog into a book, and expressed my concerns about what to include from the pregnancy, she told me this: “If you are editing things out, make sure that you put in the stuff that has a special meaning to you now… the stuff that means more because of your experience.”

Who knew I was so wise about how to deal with death? That passage I wrote while contemplating the passing of my “rogue rider” grandpa has a special, poignant meaning to me in the wake of my daughter’s death. We had to switch so fast from celebrating her life to dealing with her death, from dreams and potential to contemplating her contribution and realizing all the ways that our world was changed by her brief existence. It is hard to live these days without her, and writing about her helps to keep her close in my memory, and hopefully helps others who go through a loss. But when it comes to living life, I hope that I am doing more than just memorializing Hudson. I hope that I am celebrating her.

Because life deserves to be a celebration.

 

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Numbering your days

I recently decided to pick up this book:

20,000 Days and Counting, by Robert D. Smith

On Smith’s 20,000th day of life, he went on a little personal retreat and made a plan for the next 20,000 days. This book is your personal road map for making the most of the time you are blessed with here on earth – with little, easy to digest nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout. I would recommend it to anybody who is as obsessed with the passing of time as I am.

I’ve been alive 10,878 days. Exactly 3626 times as many days as Hudson was alive.

Three days is a long weekend. Three days isn’t even half of a week. Three days is  all it takes for a little human being to change the world. She leaves ripples in her wake that will turn into tidal waves of change. She was, and is, amazing.

In the 20,000 Days book, Smith mentions a video called “When I Die: Lessons From the Death Zone“. I watched it this morning. I want you to go watch it right now.

I’ll wait.

…Life screams at you with its intensity.
I saw my children born, {…} and I saw the incredible, massive potential of that moment. And when my father died, and the air left his body, it was as powerful as the air entering the body of my daughters.
He died very beautifully at 9:30 tonight. Gail is in rapture and says that she felt total bliss from him at the moment of death and that it was a message for all of us to not be sad.

I’m not going to lie to you. I laid in bed, hugging my giraffe print body pillow, and I cried as I read those words on the screen of my Kindle Fire.

What would it feel like to die? What did Hudson feel as she passed from this world into… what? Without a grasp of any kind of language, do you think her intent as she died in our arms was a message for all of us to not be sad?

I have a lifetime of waiting to find out.

What I do know is that in her three days, she was surrounded by nothing but love. In her three days, not a moment was wasted. In her three days, people focused on her with an intensity no other human being will ever know in a longer lifetime. We memorized her face, we drank in her incredible, massive potential, we prayed fervently, we willed the universe to help our daughter hold on.

And perhaps, that moment when she let go was total bliss for her.

Every once in a while, something somebody says to me in the aftermath of Hudson’s death will burn into my brain, and my mother dropped one of these on me very shortly after Hudson died. My dad is a pastor, so he spends a lot of time with people in their dying days, with families in the dreaded “after”. From hospital visits to funerals, my parents have more experience than the average adult with death. And my mother commented to me on one of my particularly bad days, “It has always struck me how tenuously we cling to life.”

Tenuous. Having little substance. Flimsy.

My grandfather died on my birthday last year. He had a long, painful battle with cancer. Over a year before he died, we thought we were going to say goodbye to him. He’d been on life support and the decision was made to take him off of the machines that were keeping him alive. As family gathered around him and sang hymns and prayed together, we all were thinking in the back of our minds that these were our last moments with Grandpa. But his attachment to life was more tenacious than tenuous, and he somehow fought back to us, against all odds. We got another year (and some change) with Grandpa.

When Hudson’s heart stopped on July 14, my Grandpa’s recovery flitted through the back of my mind. In those moments, I tried to live in two dimensions: the dimension where my daughter was dying in my arms, and the dimension where my daughter was fighting to live in my arms. I wanted to cherish the minutes I had with her because they were my last, all the while clinging to some tenuous hope that she might be stronger than the force taking her away from me.

That’s kind of what life is like. In every moment, we are living and dying. We are one stupid mistake from death in every moment. We are one freak accident away from life. We are as old as we’ve ever been and as young as we’re ever going to get, RIGHT NOW.

Let life scream at you with its intensity. You don’t have to know how many days you’ve been alive to know that each one of those days is a gift. Number your days, or don’t number your days…. but live them.

 

 

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