I woke up this morning to read a series of heartbreaking Facebook posts from friends in the Durham area about a couple losing their child last night, a 17 month old girl named Hudson, to meningitis. She became sick on Monday and by Thursday, no longer had brain function.

I used to live in North Caroline and vaguely remember Hudson’s parents who were active in the local nonprofit scene. Hudson’s dad, Ed, posted a beautiful, sorrowful letter, and his profile pic on Facebook was that of a happy, chubby smiling little girl.

The loss strikes me deeply because Hugh is the same age as Hudson; his full name Houston is even close to her name; and our lives intersected for a short while. The thought that a tragic illness or accident could harm him in any way makes me feel physically ill.

Later on, another friend posted a message about supporting a fundraising effort on behalf of a local boy named Jake who suffers from a fatal form of muscular dystrophy affecting boys. To help Jake’s cause, visit: http://www.jakepritchard.com/

The stories of these two families made me want to leave work right away and go home and hold Hugh. It made me send out a prayer of thankfulness for our health and a prayer of healing for those who grieve. It made me rethink my morning tirade about how tired I was because Hugh was up last night teething and crying.

Go ahead and cry, son, I’ll hold you all night long.