It has been more than 4 months since my sweet Olivia became an angel in Heaven. The ache for her doesn’t lessen as the days go by. In fact, in some ways it becomes more real and more difficult as time ticks on without her. Every day I walk past her bedroom and I imagine that she is simply sleeping on the other side. I start to feel a pull to open the door and walk in. My mind tries to trick me into thinking that she will be in her crib and I will hear her shriek with delight as I open her door. But she doesn’t. Her bed is empty. Her clothes still sit folded in her dresser and her dresses hang in her closet. She’s really not here anymore and that realization is like a dagger straight to my heart.
Olivia was my little ray of sunshine. Even on the hardest days during her battle I found true joy with her. She could smile through anything. Laugh about anything. She could reach up and touch my face and any worry would melt away. I always thought, there’s no way I could lose her. I love her far too much that I could never survive without my little girl.
This past weekend we celebrated Wyatt and Olivia’s birthday with a birthday party at our house. We wanted to make the day special for Wyatt and still honor Olivia and remember that February 19th is forever her birthday too. That morning as I set up for the party, I grabbed a picture of Olivia out of our bedroom and placed it on the gift table next to a rose. And then I broke down. I sat in my bedroom sobbing. It felt so wrong. How could it be that just one year ago I was setting up for the twins first birthday party and I walked in holding my daughter in my arms. And now I can only set out her picture and a cake in her honor.
Cancer doesn’t care how much you love your child. It doesn’t care that you want your baby to grow up and play and be healthy. It doesn’t care about your dreams. It just comes here to destroy them. And so today I pick myself up and dust off and keep going. There is a lot of work to be done and I intend to live my life to honor Olivia every single day. I hope that our foundation will help us to raise a lot of money for pediatric brain cancer research and that one day her beautiful name will be associated with a cure. That is my new dream. And I will do anything in my power to make it come true.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a pending 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. You can learn more about Olivia’s story, our organization, our research and you can donate by visiting our website at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.