2013 was a year of ups and downs for our family. There were truly amazing days and horrible days. 2013 was the year my daughter “beat” cancer and the year she succumbed to the disease when it returned with full vengeance. It was the year we moved into our new home, watched Wyatt take his first steps and say his first word, and the year we held our daughter for the very last time. It was the year we celebrated the twins first and last birthday together on earth. 2013 was such a bittersweet year and everything continues to be just that.
We celebrated Christmas at home this year, which was important for our family. Wyatt had a wonderful time opening gifts and playing with all of his new toys. He loved the Christmas tree we set up in the theme of butterflies in honor of Olivia. He loved spending time with his family. We had a nice day too but the haunting fact that Olivia should have been there with us opening presents, playing, singing at church, enjoying the day with us, hung over us all day like a deep fog. And it hasn’t let go and probably never will.
Your child is your everything. Olivia was my everything. My soul mate. And reminders of here are everywhere. Every day when I walk up and down our hallway I walk past her closed bedroom door wishing so desperately that she was simply on the other side sleeping. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to go in her room since she passed. Before we moved into our house, I spent months thinking of the perfect way to decorate her bedroom so that it could be a reflection of her beautiful soul and a place for her to feel at peace. I settled on a design that included a huge pink and green tree decal with flowers and butterflies that took up an entire wall in her bedroom. She had other decorations to match, pink curtains and a soft blanket with toys that we used to change her diaper. She loved her room. She could spend hours just staring at everything with complete serenity. She was such a sweet, peaceful spirit.
And in our bathroom her tooth brush still sits with ours. A single pink bath towel still hangs on the bathroom door and her pink bath seat and wash cloths are just behind a cabinet door. Her coat still hangs by our doorway and her socks and gloves still float around our house. Wyatt used to love to help her take them off. She is everywhere. I can’t bring myself to put any of those items away. I need that evidence that she really was here and that she is still so deeply loved.
I will never understand why Olivia had to have cancer and why she had to become an angel so soon. I won’t know the answer until I join her in Heaven and can ask God myself. I do know that I was meant to be her mommy and that I am grateful for each and every second I had with her. I love you Olivia, forever and always.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation was founded in November 2013 to honor the life of Olivia Caldwell and her courageous battle with brain cancer. This pending 501c3 nonprofit corporation raises money for pediatric brain cancer research to find a cure. If you are interested in learning more or in donating to our cause, please visit our website at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.