I’ve been in survival mode for so many years that it’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t. I have survived unthinkable loss and the crazy ups and downs of this life by putting on an armor of sorts. This armor has protected me from every really having to think about how painful the loss of Olivia is.

I haven’t allowed myself to really go there. I couldn’t bear to feel the depths of what it really means to have lost her. I think if I had, I might now have survived it. I might have sunken so deep into the depths of sadness that I’m not sure I could have climbed out.

So what has my armor been? It’s been choosing to believe that God has a plan and there’s a point to all of this suffering. To believe wholeheartedly that her death was not in vain, and that even in her death God has not abandoned us.

My armor has also been throwing myself into my other relationships. Being there for my husband and my other children. Knowing that if I fall apart, so does my family.

My armor has been throwing myself into this foundation, believing with all my soul in the importance of this God-blessed mission. And trusting that this was a big part of the point to all of this.

Lately some of my armor has been falling off. Her loss feels more real than probably ever before. I think that as time is passing and life is slowing down I have more time to sit down and reflect. And in that reflection I am feeling the true horrors of this loss for maybe the first time.

I’ve spent a lot of hours crying this month as we lead up to what would have been Olivia’s 4th birthday. Maybe letting out the tears is part of what I need to truly heal. I just wish she was here to wipe them away.

Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting our website. We are asking that everyone who can donates $4 in the month of February to honor what would have been Olivia’s 4th birthday. You can donate using this link:

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