When you have another baby after the loss of a child they are called a rainbow baby. Or a baby that comes after one of the greatest storms in life you can experience. Landon is our rainbow baby.
There is something incredibly bittersweet about having a new baby after the loss of a child. You understand on a greater level that it can all be over in a blink of an eye. You seek to treasure each moment and to be thankful each day for the opportunity to mother or father this precious gift that sits before you.
We loved Olivia tremendously. And Landon is a beautiful reminder of her existence. He has her eyes. Her nose. Her hair color. Her smile. He looks so much like his sister that sometimes we have to do double takes unsure which child we are actually looking at. This was especially true when Landon was a newborn. There were times I would just stand over his bassinet and cry because he was her.
Today, Landon is 7 months old. And Olivia isn’t here. She’s been gone now for 20.5 months – even longer than she was alive. Landon is busy developing, growing and eating. He babbles, sits up on his own, is working a little bit on self-feeding, and is within days of officially crawling. He is growing up! And accomplishing things that his sister never could due to her brain cancer and epilepsy.
Olivia worked with three different therapists twice a week but never was able to crawl or walk. She never said her first word. And at the end, what skills she had were all gone. Brain cancer took her childhood and her life.
I am so grateful that Landon is healthy and thriving. But what’s bittersweet is that Olivia isn’t.
I look at my healthy 7 month and 3 year old boys and praise God for them and for the joy that comes from being their mother. And for reminding us of the treasure that came from being Olivia’s parents first.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research and programs, including opening a pediatric oncology clinic in Wyoming. All donations are tax-deductible. You can learn more about how you can help by visiting our website at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.