We’ve officially made it through yet another October. It is always a month that is jam-packed full of memories and anniversaries and busyness.
For our family October isn’t just about Halloween and trick or treating. It isn’t about pumpkin patches and leaves. It’s about remembering the beautiful soul that was our only daughter. She was taken from us at just 20 months old on October 22, 2013 after a 16-month battle with brain cancer.
Every day in October I am reminded about the last weeks we had with her. How we had to watch her health decline rapidly before our eyes and there wasn’t a thing we could do to stop it. I am reminded that on October 17, 2013 she was sent home on hospice care. And how just 5 days later I would watch as she took her last breath and left her cancer behind.
October is always a month full of reflection and sadness. It’s a reminder of how much life has changed from my original plan. If childhood cancer hadn’t entered the picture, I would have 3 beautiful kids right now. In fact, I should have all 3 of my babies with me. I should have had to split my time at yesterday’s school party between two 4 year olds. I should have been able to watch my 3 kids fight over who got the best candy. I should be busy taking care of her instead of spending so much time fighting to make her memory live on.
So what do I do with all the should be’s in my life? Should I just live in anger and sadness? Should I spend my days curled up in a ball under the covers? Some days, yes. But most days, no. I choose to stand and fight for children with cancer. I choose to see God’s unending grace and mercy throughout my life. I choose to continue the fight on her behalf.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. Since 2013 they have given $155,000 to pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.