I turned 30 on Sunday. This bigger birthday has caused me to take a step back and look at my life and how it looks drastically different then I expected it to. In some ways that’s a beautiful thing. And in others it’s very sad.
When I turned 20 and imagined my life as a 30 year old I pictured a blissful marriage, beautiful healthy children and a thriving career in advertising. In reality I am recently divorced. I have buried one of my children and am now raising two little boys as a single parent. It wasn’t the life I expected to have and the road certainly hasn’t been easy.
30 certainly doesn’t look at all like I imagined it would. And it’s taken some time and a lot of tears to wrap my head around that. But there’s a lot of beauty in this crazy life. My career now revolves around honoring the life of my little girl, Olivia. Over the last 3.5 years I have watched this crazy idea born from grief turn into something truly amazing. We’ve already given $155,000 to pediatric cancer research and we were named 2016 “Organization Of The Year” for the Casper Area Chamber Of Commerce earlier this year. And the wonderful, tutu wearing people pictured above from our Board of Directors give so much of their time, talents, and love to this nonprofit that bears my little girl’s name. I am so grateful.
My 20’s ushered in a lot more tragedy and grief then I expected to have to endure in an entire lifetime. But the lessons I’ve learned have also shaped and molded me into the woman I am today. I learned early that true faith means trusting God even in the worst of circumstances. I learned that we aren’t guaranteed time with anyone, no matter how young or old they are. I also learned that life is too short not to tell people that you care.
I wouldn’t wish this crazy life on anyone. But today I feel nothing but gratitude for what has come out of it.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.