We recently got back from a week long vacation in San Diego. We had a beautiful time playing on the beach, visiting Sea World, and checking out the tide pools. It was so different from our last visit.
We went to San Diego 2.5 years ago about a month after Olivia passed away. It was a chance for us to get away as a new family of three and try and re-establish what was left of our family. The trip was beautiful in its own way, but it was heartbreaking too.
During that November 2013 trip our grief was so fresh. I was still getting to know my 21-month old little boy after spending the first part of his life being almost entirely focused on his twin sister. Wyatt had recently been diagnosed with diabetes, so we were also coming to grips with that change.
This trip was different. Aside from the usual difficulties that come from traveling with two kids under the age of 4, we had a truly wonderful time together. Our grief is ever present, but no longer fresh. We could smile a little more easily and remember her, wishing she was there, but without the sense that we couldn’t go on without her.
Child loss is hard. It is heartbreaking. And the heartbreak doesn’t stop just because time has gone on. It softens, but it is still this ever-present knife that slowly cuts away at your heart.
I look back at this picture of me walking hand-in-hand with my precious little boys and I know I want to treasure that moment. My little men are growing up before my eyes. My heart still aches for their sister, but I will do my best to enjoy each second God gives me with the two of them.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting our website at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.