Our family has gone through a lot of changes in the past few months. We moved to a new city. Brett started a new job. We sold our family home in Rawlins where we lived with Olivia and bought a new house in Casper. And we are just a few weeks away from welcoming another little boy into our family. Life is moving on at a very fast pace while our old life with our daughter seems to be getting farther and farther away. That in and of itself is incredibly bittersweet.
When your child dies a part of you does too. Your life changes drastically and it will never go back to the way it was. You are put into a battle within yourself because a big part of you wants to hold on to that old life that your child was a part of, while the other part of you knows that for your own sanity and the well being of your family you have to move on to some degree.
It took us more than 6 months just to be able to open the door to Olivia’s bedroom and walk in. And to the last day of being in that house it felt like a knife got stabbed and twisted into our hearts every time we had to see the room that used to be filled with her and her things. But is it any less painful now that we don’t live there anymore? Not at all. Now we live in a beautiful house that she has never been in. And that hurts more than words can describe.
In our new home we set up an office for the foundation that is also Olivia’s room. It is filled with pictures of our girl and some of the decorations that used to hang on the walls in her bedroom. It didn’t feel right at all to even consider not having a room for her here.
Now we fight daily to keep Olivia’s memory alive. The foundation is a huge part of that. Just a few weeks ago we made the trip to Denver, CO and presented a check for $40,000 to our neuro-oncology research team in her honor. It felt amazing to do something so big that was all about her. They plan to use that money to work on finding a cure for her specific type of tumor.
And we still see her daily in her twin brother. And I’m sure we will also see a lot of her in Landon when he is born. But it’s not the same. The reality is that losing a child hurts like hell.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. All proceeds benefit the neuro-oncology research team at Children’s Hospital Colorado. You can learn more and donate at any time by visiting our website at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.