I have started and stopped and restarted this post several times already. The last time I posted here was on this same occasion last year, so it’s no wonder that my writing muscles are weak.

I can’t think of anything to say about this past year–which has been incredibly hard for anyone with a heart, a mind, and a conscience–that doesn’t sound reductive or like I am whining. I’ve spent much of the year in therapy, in reflection, trying to figure out what the hell I am doing with my life. I still don’t have a clue.

But in the face of so much uncertainty, there is one thing I know.

Kindness remains fundamental to my humanity, to our common humanity. It does not “win”–as much as we wish it could–but it is still fundamental. It is not the only thing that matters, but it matters a great deal.  I know little else about what I am doing with my life, but I know that kindness is–it must be–at the core of whatever I do, at the core of the person I am always trying to become.

I don’t know what kind of nine-year-old Hudson would be today if she had lived. What kind of person she would become as an adult if she’d been given the chance to grow into one. But I hope that she would be kind. And I’m grateful each year for the opportunity to share kindness in her memory, as a reflection of my own humanity and a recognition of the hope I had for hers.

If you are so inclined, please join us this Friday, December 1, in doing One Good Thing to celebrate her ninth birthday, and invite others to do the same.