Why? Such a simple, but incredibly loaded question. It is the question on the mind of anyone who has suffered through incredible hardship or tragedy. It is the question we ask when we see someone we love or admire going through something difficult.

It is a question I have asked myself on more than one occasion in this life. I will never understand why my little girl had to be diagnosed with brain cancer at just 4 months old. I don’t know why she was one of the 46 kids in the U.S. to get that horrible diagnosis on July 16, 2012. I don’t know why her cancer had to come back a second time.

Why was also the question on my mind as my daughter took her very last breath of this life on October 22,2013 after a horrific 16-month battle with aggressive cancer.

Why? I still don’t have the answer to that question. But I’ve also learned not to dwell on it. There aren’t always satisfactory answers to the really hard questions.

I do know that God had big plans for my little girl and her legacy. My beautiful brown-eyed 20 month old might never have walked freely on this earth, but she has left her footprint on the hearts of thousands of people from around the world. She has inspired countless people to become childhood cancer advocates. She has given the cure that eluded her to other children thanks to the research that’s been funded in her name. She has put smiles on the faces of other pediatric cancer warriors when they receive a gift card in her memory. She is making a difference. She is inspiring great faith and great courage. She is still inspiring awe even though she departed this earth for heaven 3.5 years ago.

I don’t know why it had to be Olivia. I don’t know why our family was chosen for this difficult path. But I do know that I wouldn’t trade being her mommy for anything. Loving her has made me into the woman I am today and loving her will continue to shape me in the future.

I love you sweet daughter. Until I see you again I will treasure each of the 20 months and 3 days I got to keep you.

Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research in memory of Olivia Caldwell, who passed away from brain cancer in October 2013 at 20-months old. OCF has given $155,000 to pediatric cancer research teams at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since November 2013. The foundation has also given $8,500 in gift cards for food, gas and entertainment to pediatric cancer patients at Children’s Colorado over the last 3 years. Learn more and donate by visiting www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.

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