Monday, June 24, 2019

Dear You

Dear you...,

If you are reading this email or post, you are already unknowingly part of the story. On May 30, 2015, I lost my son Hudson to a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. After his passing, I asked my creator to “expand my influence and carry on his legacy.” This is where YOU come in. Each year on Hudson's birthday, June 25th, I along with others all across the world do random acts of kindness in his memory expecting nothing in return.  We give them one of the attached cards as part of Hudson’s Day of Kindness to tell a little more about his story. Do something Big! Bless someone else and you will find that in that moment are also receiving a blessing. That blessing is in Heaven with my Hudson. Print out the cards now and start thinking of how YOU are going to spread kindness to those around you.  Share this with someone else in your life that needs it.

Thank you for reading and Godspeed,

The Father of Hudson

Hudson's Day of Kindness Cards

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hudson's Day of Kindness 2018

Every year on June 25th for Hudson’s birthday we ask our family and friends to perform random acts of kindness in his memory.  My husband and I like to do several different things, but our passion is definitely for other children with congenital heart defects (CHDs).  A few months ago during CHD Awareness week, one of our Facebook friends reposted something from a mother that had a child with a critical CHD.  Any post about a heart kid always catches my attention, but this one was different.  It was posted on my birthday and it was about their 2 year old son also named Hudson that had the same congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome that our son had.  They had just found out that their son was not a candidate for the 3rd open heart surgery that he desperately needed to survive.  Their post wasn’t asking for anything other than to help raise awareness for the #1 birth defect in the United States and a serial killer that leads to the death of more children each year than all forms of pediatric cancer combined.  Statistics are important, but behind these statistics are sweet babies, children, and adults fighting to live a full life with a congenital heart defect.

The more I read about their son Hudson, the more I felt the Lord leading us to do something really special for this family.  Before our son passed away we had been planning to take him to Walt Disney World.  Unfortunately we never got to take our Hudson on that trip, but I knew that was the exact thing we were supposed to do for this family.  Their family had never had the opportunity to take their son on a vacation due to his health challenges so this year for Hudson’s Day of Kindness, we sent this sweet Hudson and his parents to Walt Disney World for a magical family vacation.  Due to the time sensitive nature we were unable to wait until the exact day of Hudson’s Day of Kindness, but I knew that nothing would be more perfect than this and our sweet boy would be so excited to do something for this other very special Hudson.  While they were in Orlando, my husband, Hudson’s baby sister, and I had the opportunity to meet this family.  It was such an overwhelming, special moment for us that I will never forget.

I believe that it was divine intervention that we stumbled upon this family from Texas that were complete strangers with another amazing son named Hudson that was also born with a broken heart.  It brings so much joy to us to know that God is still using our son’s life to make a difference in this world.  As long as I am living, I will make sure my son’s memory is never forgotten.  Even though our Hudson is no longer here on Earth with us, I know that he is in Heaven and is more alive than he ever was here.  Thank you Jesus for letting my goodbye only be temporary until I will hold Hudson in my arms again for all of eternity.

If you feel led, please honor our son’s memory this year on Monday, June 25th by performing random acts of kindness.  There are so many people hurting in this world, and a little kindness goes a long way.  I have attached a card that tells a little about Hudson that you can hand out while performing acts of kindness.  Also if you would like to learn more about the incredible family that we had the opportunity to meet, their Facebook page is Heart Full of Hudson.
Hudson's Day of Kindness Cards

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Happy Birthday in Heaven

If this is your first time visiting our blog, thank you for stopping by.  We started this blog as a way to share the story of our son Hudson who was born with a complex congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  When I was pregnant, we found out at our anatomy scan that our son would be born with half of a heart and would require multiple open heart surgeries or possibly a heart transplant just to survive.  We didn't know what the future would hold, but we believed that God had a purpose for our son.  After 23 amazing months with our son here on Earth, Hudson's life was unexpectedly cut short due to a complication from his heart defect.  Even though Hudson was born with half of a heart, he lived an incredible life.  Our son was an amazing little boy who completely changed our world for the better.  Hudson was smart, beautiful, and a joy to know.  Even though we wish he was here, we know that one day we will be reunited with him again in Heaven.  Today for Hudson's 4th birthday, we have asked friends and family to perform random acts of kindness to keep his memory alive.  We hope that Hudson's Day of Kindness will bring some much needed joy and kindness into this broken world.

Happy Birthday Hudson!  We love you forever!

Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hudson's Day of Kindness

We would love for you to help us celebrate Hudson's birthday this year by participating in our annual Hudson's Day of Kindness this Sunday, June 25th.  Hudson would be 4 years old on Sunday, and I know he will be celebrating in Heaven.  Please join with us in remembering our sweet boy and bringing some kindness to this Earth.  I have attached the link to the Hudson's Day of Kindness cards to be passed out while performing a random act of kindness in his memory.  Thank you in advance for helping keep our son's memory alive!

Hudson's Day of Kindness Cards (front & back)

Feel free to share your random act of kindness by commenting on the blog or on Facebook.

Friday, June 2, 2017

What Grief Looks Like Two Years Later

Every person’s journey through grief is unique.  Two years after losing my sweet baby boy Hudson this is where I am in my grief.  Gone are those days where it physically hurt to breathe and I literally could not remember what I was doing from one moment to the next.  The cloud of shock and disbelief have lifted, but what remains is an intense sadness and heart that is still broken from missing Hudson more than words can describe.  After his death, I remember the grief counselor telling us that it does get better.  At this point I can say some things are better, and others are not.  A piece of me died that day too and I know that I am forever changed.  I’ve become much more introverted and I feel like I am living a life that very few can understand.  Grief can be extremely isolating and it’s easy to want to pull away from everyone.

There is some beauty that comes from grief as well.  I have never felt more loved from Jesus than I did in the days and months following Hudson’s death.  He carried me through the darkest days of my life when I wasn't even sure I would be able to live through this heartbreak.  Jesus and his promise of eternity are what get me through even today.  I am also so thankful for the support from our friends and family.  I have some pretty amazing friends that continue to reach out to me over and over again even though many times their messages and calls go unanswered.  They love me in spite of the fact that I’m really not much of a good friend these days because sometimes I’m just trying to survive my new reality.  Our family are so incredible at letting us know how much they continue to think about Hudson and keep his sweet memory alive.  We have people that we have never even met that have prayed for us and for our son.  People continue to participate in Hudson’s Day of Kindness, which is coming up on his birthday, June 25th to honor his memory and bring some kindness to a very broken world.  Even though life has dealt us a devastating hand, I know that beauty can come from ashes.

I take solace in knowing that Hudson is in Heaven, he is happy and his heart is healed forever and one day we will be reunited for eternity.   Jesus healed Hudson’s heart and I believe that he is working to heal mine.  He is picking up all of the broken pieces and mending them together to make something new.  Living on Earth without my child is unbelievably difficult, but I am putting my trust in Jesus even when I don’t understand this life.  He is still good and he is still the King of the world.  Lord, I trust you and I know you see my hurting heart even when I feel alone.  You love me and you love Hudson, and not even death can separate us from your everlasting love.

John 14: 2-3 “My Father’s house has many rooms; if this were not true, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Choosing Triumph Over Tragedy

If this is your first time reading this blog, I hope it is because someone passed along some kindness to you in memory of my son Hudson.  Today is Hudson’s birthday and he would have been 3 years old.  Hudson’s story started quite some time ago.  After years of infertility we finally got pregnant with our incredible son.  At 20 weeks pregnant, I found out my son had a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) which means he would be born with only half of a functioning heart.  At the time it was very difficult to explain the situation repeatedly, so my husband and I decided to start this blog to keep family and friends updated on Hudson’s life.  We weren’t sure if we would ever bring our son home from the hospital or what his future would hold, but we knew that God would be triumphant in his life regardless, and so we called the blog Choosing Triumph Over Tragedy.

Fast forward several months and our son not only survived his first 2 open-heart surgeries, but he thrived.  This incredible little boy was full of life; always smiling, constantly on the move, and never letting his circumstances define him.  Hudson loved animals, trains, reading, and nonstop playing.  Hudson was beautiful inside and out and he brought so much joy to our lives.

After 23 amazing months, Hudson’s life was unexpectedly cut short due to a complication from his heart defect.  I know my son is in Heaven and that one day we will be together again.  In this broken world it's easy to lose hope, but if you are reading this I think Hudson would want you to know how much Jesus loves you.  There is nothing that will ever cause him to stop loving or relentlessly pursuing you.  There is no pit in life that God’s love is not deeper.  As much as I love my son, I know that he is in the arms of the only one that could love him more than me.

Happy Birthday Hudson!  We love you forever!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Why I Hope You Never Stop Saying His Name

Maybe one of the most precious gifts you can give a bereaved parent is to say their child’s name.  When a loved one passes away, there is initially such a huge outpouring of support.  Understandably as time goes on, people go back to their normal lives.  We however will never be able to go back to our old normal again.  Life will never be the same and a big piece of our hearts died that day too.  When Hudson passed away, I had this intense desire to keep his memory alive.  One of my biggest fears was that people would forget about this incredible little boy that changed my life forever.  Probably many people feel this way after losing a loved one, but I can’t help but think the feeling is amplified when it is a child.  Hudson didn’t have a lifetime to make memories and form relationships; he had 23 months.

Death is an uncomfortable topic and people always wonder what to say and what not to, and many times just choose to not say anything.  I understand and probably used to do the same thing.  Now on the other side I can say my heart beams when someone mentions Hudson.  I might tear up when you talk about him, but it is only because I miss so much and not because you made me upset.  He is always on my mind whether you say anything or not.  Please don’t feel bad if I cry when you talk about him because I am so glad that you did.  It reminds me that we are not the only ones that loved Hudson and miss him.  You see I may cry when you talk about him, but it breaks my heart when you don’t.

When I hear you say his name or share a story about Hudson it gives me so much joy.  A couple of months after Hudson passed, one of my friends sent me some pictures of Hudson at her daughter’s birthday party.  What a treasure!  I was unable to go to the party because of work so my husband had taken him.  She gave me the gift of a new memory of my son that day and I couldn’t be more grateful.  It is also so wonderful when people share a special memory they have of Hudson or even say they think of him.

Hudson’s 3rd birthday is coming up and we would like to ask you to participate in the second annual Hudson’s Day of Kindness on June 25th.  Please help us keep our son’s memory alive by performing a random act of kindness on his birthday.  I have attached a PDF that has cards that tell a little about Hudson and can be printed and passed out while performing an act of kindness.  Thank you in advance for participating!

Please remember Hudson and please never stop saying his name.