Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Baby Boy - Our Eternal Gift

It's Christmas and everyone is either talking about Santa or the baby in the manger. For many of you I'm sure the ladder of those two topics brings about some different kinds of feelings. It definitely does for me.

It started after I had my first son, Dawson. The whole "baby boy" thing just seemed more tangible to me. I could put myself in Mary's shoes, or attempt to, and it all felt so personal.

Christmas came just three months after my second baby boy went to Heaven and that absolutely put a new spin on the "baby boy" thing. Songs like "Mary did you Know?" could push me over the edge. Though I love that song all I could (and sometimes still) think about is the baby boy I wasn't holding.

Well, to add another spin to my Christmas-y ponderings I've put myself in God's shoes. I realize that's totally not even remotely possible, but let me explain.

I said good-bye to Hudson and right away I was angry with God. I didn't know exactly why, other than He was in control and He clearly did not honor my wishes or my prayers for that matter. I knew enough in my head not to blame God but my heart had a hard time not doing so.

I'll never forget thinking about how I could NEVER be God. For a huge amount of reasons but mostly because there was no way I could hand my son to the sinful nature of man to be battered and bruised for their iniquities. NO WAY! While going through this it hit me. I started to realize one of the reasons I was angry with God. The words came from my mouth...

"But you got your son back!!!!"

Oh it made me mad to think about. I wasn't getting mine back. This wasn't my choice. God CHOSE to send his OWN son for us. And in that time my mind was convinced that it was because He knew He would get Jesus back. What a selfish thing, I thought.

I feel foolish for writing all of this for people to read. Thinking back, I do understand my thought process but I also understand now that my anger blinded me from the real truth.

God did make the choice to send His only son to Earth. And yes, He did get Jesus back for all eternity. But there's more to it. The only reason God did this was for US!

If God didn't make that choice then Hell would be our home for all eternity. Instead, He chose to send a baby to this world that would one day die upon a cross so that all creation could have the chance to live in Heaven with our creator.

And with our babies.

That's what I think about now. It wasn't selfish of God. It just appeared so in the moment when I too angry to look at the big picture.

God designed all of this so that we might be saved and as a perk we can live eternally in Heaven with those babies we long so desperately to have with us right now.

When I take a step back and stretch my mind to think about eternity - forever and ever and ever. This life I live now seems so small and I'm thankful that when I go to Heaven I can spend ALL of forever with Hudson and those that I love.

There's a good chance I'm the only one who thinks these crazy thoughts, but then again, there's a good chance I'm not. Today I challenge to you to look at the big picture. If it's just to hard then give it some time. If you really don't understand the big picture or anything that I've written then by all means ask God to help you.

I pray for a Merry Christmas for all of you. I pray that your hearts find peace in knowing that the baby we celebrate has died to make a place in Heaven for your baby, and for you when you accept Him into your heart.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

His Strength

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

This verse from Isaiah chapter 41 verse 10 was one that I fell in love with months prior to my whole world crashing. It's just comforting to remind myself from time to time through life's various seasons and challenges that God's got this. Whatever I might be afraid of, confused about, or weary dealing with - it's in God's hands. He will help me and He will see me through it. Seems simple enough.

...Until I needed to remember it the most. I'll never forget the moments I wept looking toward Heaven asking God why He forgot about me. For weeks I was unable to utter even the simplest prayer because, although my head knew God had not forgotten about me, my heart and everything else felt completely abandoned by Him. The most I could do was write Him notes.

Yes, I said I wrote God notes. I knew I needed to talk to Him but I just couldn't muster anything more than the same questions and pleas for my life to be put back together.

As time went on I began seeing the very obvious hand of God in my every day comings and goings. I was in the uttermost parts of grief's deepest and darkest valleys and I found myself stunned by God's work in my life.

Those must have been the times He was holding me the highest. Thank God, for moments at a time He would lift me from the raging waters of life so I could take a deep breath and regain the strength to fight the currents some more.

The crazy thing is, in the middle of it all, I really had no concept of exactly how He was helping and strengthening me. At least in my life it takes a little (no, alot) time to see how it is all being worked out.

In those times I may not have seen or felt God walking with me. It felt as though He was gone but He was working. Boy, was He working!  Today I enjoy much of the benefits of God's work as He crafted some amazing things behind the scenes while I pleaded for His help.

This is one of them. Well I suppose 4 of them to be exact. I am continually amazed at the weaving of lives and relationships that has taken place in the last 2 years.

You see, in the immediate aftermath of burying our baby I began watching as my relationships and interactions with others changed. I saw connections being made with complete strangers and others that I always felt close to I saw distancing themselves.

Major life events always create change. The death of a child is no exception. It has a way of bridging gaps and cutting bridges. At first I mostly saw the bridges disappear, but I am extremely fortunate as time moved on to watch as God brought people into my life; friends I would've never met, support from unlikely acquaintances and deeper connections from previously shallow how-do-you-do's. All of this because of Hudson.

In this picture is just some of the ladies that I've been paired up with to walk this journey and to glean strength from. I count my blessings when I am with these girls (plus some others!) because I know that it was God's handiwork and pain's deepest longings that brought us together.

God really was strengthening me all along. All the times I felt like an orphaned child He was just busy creating blessing after blessing and lining up every perfect detail that would get me from there to here. He was making links and crafting connections I could've never done on my own and I'm certain He had to be smiling all the while knowing how good it would be.

Dear momma, please know that in the darkest part of it all God is holding you in one hand and crafting everything you need with the other. You may not feel the strength in the midst of the raging waters but it's what keeps you from drowning. Watch closely as you too will eventually see God's amazing work in your situation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Memories, Shock, and Learning to Live: The Second Anniversary Perspective

I don’t know how my memory knew to keep detailed files of those days, but it did. Somehow it took scrupulous notes even before it knew what was going to happen.

Like, I can remember conversations and thoughts I had. I can remember certain things I looked at. I remember the smiles on people’s faces. The second glances and stares; none of those things ever really playing a part of the big picture.  And then I can remember the feeling of my pounding heart, the chills, the nervous sweats, the physical feeling of grief’s hand pushing me into the ground. 

This was taken only in an effort to capture
my baby belly one last time. I had no
 intention of sharing it with anyone.
Here I am on September 11th, 2012 -The morning after we began our spiraling descent.  The obvious thing you see here is a saddened face, and Hudson’s lovie – never to be squeezed in his tiny hands, but if you look closely you’ll see shock. Lots of it. When I look at this picture I think about how clueless I was at that time and how in shock I was. I’ve learned now  those two go hand in hand. My mind was still reeling from the day before and trying to process the timeline of events. When you jump from the mountain top to crash in the valley I guess you’re likely to be disoriented… and I was.

This picture was snapped by my husband just after the nurse escorted us to our delivery room, handed me my hospital gown and all of the literature I still haven’t read. In this moment I was trying to figure out how I would muster the (emotional) strength to slip on that gown and sit in some compliant manner on that bed to which I was about to deliver my stillborn baby. I still don’t know how I did it. Shock was on my side as I answered the intake questions and then swallowed the pill to begin induction.
Moments of that day are etched into my heart as immediate tear triggers. Not the expected ones like meeting Hudson for the first time. The unexpected ones – like the sound of the strong heartbeat on the monitor in the room next to mine. Or the moment I began screaming “NO, NO, NO!” right before my son was born. My body was in the worst pain of my life but the pain registered in my heart spoke those words.
Hudson was born very early the following morning on September 12th, at 1:38 to be exact. Though his soul never entered this World his body did and that was a surprisingly quiet and peaceful entrance aside from my physical state. At 1:38 am I met Hudson and I met the Peace of God in a brand new and profound way. God held me in his hand as I held Hudson in mine. If ever I’ve seen a miracle- this was surely it.

Every time I look at pictures of myself in the hospital I see it. I see God’s plan - that simple hospital band around my wrist. Who knew that right then and there I was wearing the purpose of Hudson’s life.  Little did I know that later that day I would stare at that bracelet with enormously fond feelings.

Saying good-bye to Hudson
Leaving the hospital and heading home to figure out life wasn’t real impossible at first. Even his burial service that following Saturday wasn’t impossible.  Really, in that time the blinds weren’t completely closed. There was still some shock and the near constant company of others that held the blinds open for a little light to seep through.

And then Monday came. I’m certain the shock was buried in the ground with my baby on Saturday, or else maybe it hopped into Brady’s truck and went to work with him on Monday. One way or the other Monday morning came with its shovels burying me into a darker pit – one that no one invited me into, no one accompanied me. No one even showed me the door to get out.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and so forth were much like Monday. I remember very little from that week and the weeks to come. My mind’s rolodex took minimal notes from that time.  I do recall anxiously checking the mail every day hoping to find at least one more “Thinking of You” card. Once I had one in my hand I would run to my couch to read it. I think I felt like maybe that person was sitting on the sunken cushions of the couch with me and in that time I wasn’t so alone. I remember when my sister came over and I stepped outside to talk with her. My words turned to sobs quickly and so there wasn’t much conversation but it was light outside. I remember the outside and it was light. It stuck out to me like a brand new sensation.  A really foreign one, actually.

In my history books the month of September, 2012 has been scribbled on by a black marker.

October sticks out in my mind as the month I attempted to live again. Little things like taking pictures of Dawson, going grocery shopping and wearing make-up on an almost daily basis entered my life again.

November was a rollercoaster of a month. One day I would think, wow, I haven’t cried yet today! And in the very next moment I would come across a baby item or get a diaper coupon in the mail and that was it.

December left me with a few good memories; like being able to talk with a fellow mother who was about to deliver the baby she carried that was not compatible with life, or the evening that Brady and I were able to remember Hudson’s life along with other grieving parents during a ceremony at the hospital. In December I remember feeling horribly stagnant. Christmas meant presents and I wanted nothing to do with them. I told Brady and I asked God so many times that all I wanted was to make a difference, to find purpose.

In January I remember the nagging, itching, drive-me-crazy feeling of needing to do something.  I also remember driving past the hospital weeks before my due date and crying because all I wanted was to go deliver my baby, an alive one, like I should have.  January meant Hudson’s due date was near and that God was up to something. Something that I look at now and still can’t fully wrap my mind around.

Today as I look around and see my time consumed with bracelets and emails, I hear people talk about Hudson and God and what the two of them have done together it baffles me. How did that day of sheer hopelessness, grief and shock become this? How did that bracelet do so much? All of those memories – good or bad – I’m thankful for them. I’m thankful for the fingerprints of God left upon the calendar pages that year.

This week we celebrate Hudson’s birthday with joy (and some tears) knowing that his life matters and impacts the lives of others every day.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mark your Calendars!

Creativity hasn't ever been my strong point, so when I've tried brainstorming ideas to raise money to continue producing and mailing bracelets I've hit a brick wall. Like, every single time. That's where prayer comes in real handy. I began praying at the beginning of this year that someone would be put in my path to help me raise money.

Of course God came through and He sent Kyle and Samantha Fouts my way. This couple has been amazing! Following their own tragic loss they felt compelled to help me help others and I am so very thankful for their hearts to help.

They put their heads together and have organized a Charity Golf Outing to benefit Hudson's Bands of Hope. This will be our biggest fundraiser yet!

Mark your calendars and tell your friends! If you are in the Kokomo, Indiana area the outing is scheduled for September 20th at 1:00. We have had great support from several sponsors and various gift donors! So, come golf, get a free t-shirt and lunch, support a good cause and win some great prizes!!

Visit to register yourself or a team!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Big News!

When I made my last post I had no idea what would happen in the days to follow. This last week has been a big one! It began with a letter in the mail from the IRS stating that Hudson's Bands of Hope has been approved as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation! Then I was surprised with a beautiful gift and constant reminder of God's hand in this ministry.

It was the kind of week when I look up and say, "Wow, God! This is SO much bigger than me!"

Now let me get to the mush-gushy, emotional side of it all. Because you know, I don't know how to write about something unless my heart makes a few comments.

Let me take you on a little journey here, if you will...

Hudson's Bands of Hope didn't begin with a big idea and future perspective. It didn't begin with intention to become a corporation that has affected so many people.

It began with just a modest goal of putting bracelets on the wrists of 12 grieving mommies...

 I take that back. It actually began with just the urge to do something special for Hudson on his due date.

I figured that if I could help someone at the same time then that would be ideal. I'll never forget when the thought crossed my mind. It was a profound moment as I sat on my sister's couch writing down my ideas and enjoying the silence of sleeping children - hers and mine.

I thought back - trying to remember what someone did for me that was really special. I knew that is what I would want to do for someone else.

We received SO MANY thoughtful gestures following Hudson's birth, but my first and only thought went to my hospital band. Memories flashed in my mind; like when I clutched it as I exited the hospital, or when I walked down the sidewalk of my little town wondering and kind-of hoping that someone would notice it.

Immediately following that flash back I looked down at my wrist, wearing a simple chain bracelet with two blue footprints on a heart charm. Honestly, there was no moment in time where I decided, oh yes, give moms a bracelet. That would be a great idea. Instead I grabbed my phone and called the hospital. After that conversation my mind was made up. I would one way or another come up with 12 bracelets to give to the moms that would leave the hospital after delivering their angels. 12 should cover the year 2013

I would have been happy to provide just enough bracelets for that year. Never did it occur to me that something big was about to happen.

That small goal led me to ask my Facebook friends if they would want to donate some money to this project in memory of their angel babies. That one post far exceeded my expectations and from it alone I collected $800. After realizing enough bracelets could be made to give some to another hospital I decided to name the project. Just a couple of days stewing over the name and I knew "Hudson's Bands of Hope" was the right one.

The word "Hope" in that name was not my choice. It was God's. I know it. At the time that I was deciding on the name my cousin shared a scripture with me - the one I've shared with those who receive a bracelet:

"And now, Lord, what do I hope for? My hope is in you, Lord." Psalms 39:7

Not long after that, my mother called to tell me she found a bead with the word "hope" inscribed on it and she thought it would be a great idea to add to the bracelets. My mom nor my cousin had spoke to each other and neither of them knew I was deciding on a name. It was clear. God was wanting me to share His hope with these mothers.

The first bracelet, prayer card and message of Hope was delivered to the hospital on Hudson's due date, just as I had originally planned. From that moment forward I watched as the donations and requests for bracelets came flooding in. It didn't take long for me to realize that this was God's idea and he was just using me to accomplish it.

Nearly two years have passed since my sweet Hudson was born and today I am still overwhelmed by the call on his life. I am still stunned as I think back to these meager beginnings.

To date Hudson's Bands of Hope have been distributed from 9 different hospitals and 4 partnering ministries. They have been mailed to 16 different states and even into Canada. They've been handed to nearly 1,000 women!

God has seen fit for me to walk blindly on this journey. He created the ministry, he sustains it and he grows it and I am confident that His work is not yet finished.

I barely had enough time to fully digest the fact that this is really, seriously a working non-profit organization before Brady takes me to the hospital on Wednesday night. I didn't know what I was doing there for sure but I knew my birthday was just the day before and it must have something to do with HBOH.

Upon arrival, the amazing Birthing Center nurses gave me this breathtaking canvas!

It was made just as a birthday gift and a way to express their thanks, but it means so much more than that. It's a sweet reminder to me of what God has accomplished through my little boy. I am grateful for God's purpose for Hudson. I am grateful that He has led me faithfully through every decision concerning Hudson's Bands of Hope and I am thankful that with His help this ministry is growing and thriving!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Just a little peek inside of my head...

I've grown insecure at times when I think about this ministry. I tease myself with doubting questions... "Is it really a ministry?" "Does it even matter?" "Shouldn't I be doing more?"

On occasion I find myself weary with it all. Counting beads, placing orders, trying to figure out where I put that address, counting beads, realizing I've STILL not ordered enough, counting beads, running to the post office, sitting in the middle of the floor opening impossible packages of bracelets late at night, counting beads, worrying about ways to get the money I need, logging receipts and bracelets distributed, and counting more beads...

It's usually in the middle of the day-to-day chore list that I ask myself if I'm just doing this for me; or is it for the mommies that open up the package in the mail or walk away from the hospital with a little green bag in their hand and a big hole in their heart.

When I take a step back from it all I can see the big picture much more clearly. This is for me, it is for Hudson, and it is for you - the one whose whole world just came crashing down.

It's not about a piece of pretty jewelry. No, it's not about the bracelet. That's just the part that people can see. The bracelet is just the tangible piece. Hudson's Bands of Hope isn't just a little thing that gives bracelets away. What warms my heart the most is knowing that all of this has inadvertently created a safe community for  moms. It tells them that they're not alone.

Every time a group of women gather together to assemble bracelets I'm amazed at how God brings at least one whose pain is fresh. I've seen women string beads as they talk about their experience and encourage the one whose heart is heaviest. I've seen friendships grow over stamping envelopes and tying bags. Often times the hands that make the bracelets are wiping away tears at the very same time.
Bracelets have been handed to women who have never spoke of their loss until that moment because then they felt like it was safe.

When a bracelet is worn a platform is created. A door is opened for that mother to speak of her child.

My story has encouraged other women to run with their own passion to help.

Hudson's Bands of Hope has done more than I could've ever dreamed.

Ultimately I'm reminded that Misty has nothing to do with this. God has everything to do with it. I'm not just being humble. It's really, really not me. I'm more confident of that than anything else. This was God's vision and one of his purposes for my Hudson. It's such a sweet feeling knowing I didn't sit down with lists, diagrams, pencils and erasers trying to come up with a good idea. God wrote it on my heart. He designed it all.

The questions and weariness never linger for long when I remind myself that it's not me. It's not just a bracelet or a chore list.

It's an expression from the heart of God to the broken hearts of moms everywhere.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Embrace your Grief

There is no shame in sadness and nothing wrong with tears. Don’t believe the lie that strength is found in steady emotion.

There is a handful, maybe a group, of women (and men too) that believe they must happily accept the death of their baby. They hold in the grief, the questions, the deep pain, and they cling to hollow lies and claims of, “I’m ok, really.”

God expects our grief. He allows us to mourn. If we pretend all is well we serve no purpose in helping the next person to walk our same path. Your testimony will mean more when others watch you crawl through the trenches and climb out victorious. They can see your faith in action.

The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time to weep and a time to mourn. Couldn’t this be your time?

I’ve been one to want to meet others’ expectations and I feel inadequate if I don’t. So when I felt that someone thought I should be “over it” I worked hard to at least fake it. But after realizing I’m a terrible actress and an even worse liar I gave up. Hudson deserves my tears anyways.

So, for the one who’s walls are about to bust with built up emotion, please let it overflow. Don’t be afraid. Don’t feel shame.
Allow yourself to shed the mask, release the tears, ask hard questions and know that Ecclesiastes also tells us there is a time to laugh and a time to dance. That is coming. Until then, embrace your grief – for that will grow your strength.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Little things, big blessings

My life seeps with abundance.  I don’t even know the words to use to adequately thank God for all He’s given me but my heart feels the weight of the thankfulness.

I’m sure my one bath home is the only one on the street without a flat screen TV inside. The car sitting in the garage is the same one my parents gave me for my high school graduation many moons ago. Pedicures rarely happen. The only diamonds I own are in my wedding ring and the pair of studs my ears carry around. I don’t have an i-anything and actually find little use in the only smart phone I’ve ever owned that was purchased just 4 months ago.
But, I’ve been richly blessed.

As I consider all that God has given me (and allowed to be taken) I stand in amazement. I’m in awe of what He has allowed me, ME of all people, to have. There are the days though, where shallow thinking corrupts this heart and I find myself discontent with life and that which surrounds me.
I must be careful. Those are the times that I’m telling God – not with words – that what He has chosen for me isn’t enough. If I focus on what I don’t have I’ll never be able to appreciate what I do have. I’ll never find true joy in the priceless gifts that make my heart complete.

As I go through the list of "thanks" and try to tell how grateful I am for my husband and two kids here with me I always, always thank Him for Hudson. I consider myself blessed to have Hudson. God chose me to be his mommy. I of course would’ve made a few different choices about how long I could have him on the Earth, but I’m thankful I have him even if we’re apart.
The more hindsight I have the easier it is to rejoice in life’s blessings… and rejoice in life’s trials. Today I am thankful for both. I am thankful to God for letting this girl live life with such abundance.

 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”  
             -James 1:17
“…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
             -Ephesians 5:20
“That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of your wondrous works.”

             -Pslam 26:7

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Heaven's Hands

Brady and I have had the privilege of  helping to create a new ministry that reaches out to families suffering through pregnancy loss. I am proud to say that God used Hudson's life to lay it on the heart of our previous pastor to create a ministry to support these families. Heaven's Hands was created and is ran by individuals and couples who have experienced the death of their child or grandchild.

Through mentoring, support groups, professional counseling and a memory garden, Heaven's Hands wants you to have the help you need.

To highlight a couple of these areas, the support group is for anyone who would like the support and connection from others that understand your pain. This is a co-ed group that meets on Monday evenings in Kokomo, Indiana. The memory garden is also located in Kokomo and after a break for weather will be finished and opening up in the next few months. The garden offers a walkway with engraved memorial bricks for you to honor your baby's life.

Click on the link below to visit the Heaven's Hands website and to learn more about what this ministry does!

Heaven's Hands

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Grieve and Give Grace: A Family Member's Perspective

I am feeling a tad out of place writing a post to you. Reason number one is because I am not a blogger. Most importantly, reason number two is because I have, thankfully, never suffered the pain of losing a baby. I just can’t relate to you in that way. But I can sympathize. And cry… boy, could I cry with you! I have had a lot of experience just crying because tears seemed more appropriate than words when I grieved the loss of my nephew.

You have probably figured out by now that Hudson’s Bands of Hope creator, Misty, isn’t the author of this post, and for a good reason!  She welcomed her beautiful rainbow baby, Ruby Madison, into the world this past Friday morning. January 17th that is. Don’t forget that date. It is an important one and if you keep reading I will explain why.
My name is Christy. Yes, our names rhyme because we are identical twin sisters. Being twins, as adults, has been wonderful. As kids and even teenagers we would have told you that we couldn’t stand one another. Honestly we were too much alike to get along. But now we know how very similar we are to each other and we embrace it. Maybe even a little too much. Having a twin is like having a built-in best friend. You don’t have to search, she is just right there. It is great.

When we realized back in August of 2012 that we were going to be pregnant at the same time, with Misty being only 9 weeks ahead of me, we were ecstatic! Being twins had just got even greater!  It was her second, my third, but the first pregnancy to be shared at the same time. We laughed as we considered the attention we would receive from strangers as we would both be waddling around with big round bellies soon enough, especially since we looked so much alike anyway.
Laughter came to a screeching halt though, the day we learned that Misty’s pregnancy was over. Just like that. No warnings, no explanations, just done. And then this whole twin, sister, best friend thing changed. Suddenly we couldn’t talk like we used to. My pregnancy that was going strong became more of a secret guilt than an exciting adventure. Misty was devastated and I was devastated for her! Grief and guilt consumed me. Even when she assured me I should still celebrate my baby I just couldn’t figure out how. I wanted to help take Misty’s pain away so badly. I wanted to ease the ache more than anything, but it was out of my control. The only thing I could control was myself, so that is exactly what I did.

I hope you don’t think am I trying to paint some pitiful, sad story for myself. I say these things because Misty has asked me to write something in her place and because after praying for direction these are the words my fingers found themselves typing. I believe that every unborn baby has family members here on earth who love them and love their mommies the same. But they don’t all know how to cope, what to say and what not to say. It’s awkward. It’s painful! To you, mom: know they care. Know that they want to fix your pain. Some may not seem to care in the least and others may try too hard to fix the “problem” and in the end, step on your toes. Extend your loved ones some grace. We care and we hurt with you but we can’t know all the right things to say and all the things not to say.
To the grieving family members: you can’t fix this! You can’t control the situation, control yourself instead. Extend grace to that hurting momma you care so much about. There isn’t a right or a wrong way to grieve. Just let her grieve. In fact, follow her lead and grieve right along with her. If she wants some alone time, give it to her. If she wants someone to talk to, just listen. If she doesn’t want to cry alone, cry with her.  Try not to push your form of grief on her. Understand that you can’t understand her suffering, don’t even try to.  And maybe the most significant thing is: don’t forget! Remember that sweet little baby with her.

I wish I could tell you that I have done and said all the right things but I haven’t. There were and still are plenty of times where I lodge my foot straight into my mouth and pray Misty didn’t hear my thoughtless remark. I am human and Misty knows that. She has extended me grace in those situations that she could have taken serious offense. Likewise, I have extended her grace in times I could have chosen to be offended.
Here’s the thing, the grief of a mother is powerful. I only know this by watching my sister endure it. I see now the importance of Misty being allowed to grieve Hudson in the way that felt right to her. What if her husband and family hindered her grief instead of allowed it? What if she was never able to reach the stage in grieving that caused her to want to help others who suffered from the same pain she had? Perhaps Hudson’s Bands of Hope never would have existed.

So, why did I want you to remember that Ruby was born on January 17th? Because it was the same day that Hudson’s Bands of Hope was born, just one year prior. Happy Birthday Hudson’s Bands of Hope and Happy Birthday baby Ruby!
Your grief can give birth to beautiful things mom, so grieve and give grace!