Being the mother of a sick child is an excruciating experience. There isn’t much that could be more painful than watching your baby suffer and not be able to do a thing about it.
I have never felt more exhausted than I did during those 16 months that Olivia battled cancer. Every day was a literal battle to keep death at bay. My days revolved around doing everything I could to save her. I became an expert on Olivia. I knew what was normal and what wasn’t. I advocated on her behalf. I spent every moment I could with her. Holding her. Just loving on that beautiful baby girl.
And then I lost her. At 20 months, 3 days, and 4 hours old my only daughter died in my arms from brain cancer. It was like having my heart ripped out of my chest and even nearly 4 years later my heart is not completely back in place. I doubt it ever will be again.
But even though I know the way Olivia’s story was meant to end, I would still choose to be her mom. She was worth every tear, every sleepless night, and every single sacrifice. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if it meant having her.
I loved her before she was even formed in my belly and I will continue to love her for the rest of my life. And as painful as her battle with cancer and death have been for me and so many others I am still truly grateful for each and every moment she was mine.
I will love you forever Olivia Margaret Caldwell and I am so glad I was chosen to be your mom.
The 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 at 20 months old in October 2013. To date we have given $155,000 to pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.