A few days ago we reached 17 months since Olivia passed away. Life feels more normal but my heart aches because I still miss her with every ounce of my being. We had 20 months and 3 days with our baby girl. It kills me far more than I can explain that she is no longer here and that in three short months we will have been without her longer than we had her. That is something no parent should have to experience.
The normal order of life is for children to far outlive their parents. We are supposed to be able to watch our kids grow up and have kids of their own and experience new joy in our grandchildren. Any parent who has ever lost a child has been robbed of those joys. Instead they dream and imagine what it would have been like to experience those things with their child who was taken from their grasps.
I loved every single minute of being Olivia’s mommy. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with a baby girl I was overjoyed! I had always wanted a daughter of my own. I have always been close to my mother and I was so excited to be able to experience that kind of relationship with Olivia. And she loved me too. It was like she knew all along that she would have a limited amount of time with me and she made the most of every second. That beautiful baby girl could sit with me all day and night. She looked into my eyes and I knew that I was her entire world and she was mine. She used to give me these big, open-mouthed baby kisses and she liked to brush my hair with her little fingers. She would cuddle with me with her arms and legs wrapped around me as she laid her head on my chest and stared up at my face. She was amazing. And so incredibly sweet!
I have many friends who have little girls of their own. Some are the same age Olivia would be. Some are younger. Some are older. But I watch each of them with their daughters and miss her that much more. I should also have the opportunity to watch her grow up and become an amazing little lady. I should be able to take her for pedicures. To help her pick out a dress. I should be able to play dress up with Olivia and watch princess movies and have pretend tea parties. I should be able to watch her mother her little brother and see a small glimpse of the amazing mommy she would have been one day. Because of cancer I will always look at my life with her and imagine what should have been. This is a horrible pain that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but it is the reality I live in each and every single day.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. All proceeds benefit our neuro-oncology research team at Children’s Hospital Colorado and all donations are tax-deductible. You can learn more and donate by visiting our website at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.