From the moment I found out we were having twins I was incredibly excited. It meant that my babies would have a built in best friend. Someone who would always love them, be there for them, and help them no matter what life could throw their way. I never imagined that my little girl would have cancer and that my babies would have to be separated before they reached their second birthday. Cancer not only stole my daughter, it stole my son’s best friend in the entire world…his twin sister.
Olivia passed away at 20 months and 3 days old on October 22, 2013. Wyatt was asleep in his bed when she passed but he cried out at the exact moment she took her last breath and he has not looked for her since. He used to wake up every morning asking for his sissy and he would love to run in there and get her up for the day. He hasn’t asked for her once since that horrible night when she left this earth for Heaven. But his grief is apparent.
Wyatt is too young to put into words that he is missing something, but it shows. He has developed an attachment to me that is beyond what is normal for a 2 year old. He becomes depressed if I have to leave him with a baby sitter. He doesn’t want to play at play groups unless I am right there with him, holding his hand. He panics if he thinks I am getting away from him. It’s like he’s afraid that if I leave I won’t come back.
And who can blame him… One night he went to bed and he never saw his sister again. He knows she’s not here but he doesn’t know why. It has to be incredibly terrifying to realize at such a young age that the people you love can be taken away from you truly at any moment. My heart breaks for my son and I wish that I could take away his grief. I wish above anything else that Olivia was here and that my children could live in a blissful world where cancer doesn’t exist and life is about playtime and laughter. Instead, both of my babies have gone through things in their short time on this earth that I wouldn’t wish on my greatest enemy.
And so I try to make Wyatt’s world as secure as possible and show him that his dad and I love him and we aren’t going anywhere. And I pray that he will grow up and still know his sister in his heart even though cancer robbed them of the life they should have had together. I also pray that he will forever remember the importance of his sister’s life and continue the fight to find a cure in her honor even after we are gone.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a pending 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. To learn more and to donate please visit our website at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.