October is by far my least favorite month of the entire year. It is a month that has been filled with tragedy and heartbreak for me. The 22nd of October is the day my daughter died. And this year marks 4 years since she took her last breath in my arms at 20 months and 3 days old.
The moment the date changes to October 1st I feel my anxiety start to kick back up. My heart races. My legs feel weak. I feel tired, easily irritated and completely overwhelmed.
This October has been even worse. This awful month has included even more tragedy. The mass shooting in my home state of Nevada earlier this week has had me reeling and heartbroken. And just this morning I learned of the sudden death of another friend who had donated many hours as a photographer for the Olivia Caldwell Foundation. She leaves behind a husband and young daughter and parents who will now know the heartache of losing a child.
My heart is broken for all of those who are hurting along with me this month. Tragedies make you question why these things happen and what we can do to change the state of our world.
If I have learned anything from the tragedies in my own life it is that time isn’t promised with anyone. It is so easy to leave the I love you’s for another day. It is easy to assume tomorrow will come and neglect to take the time to tell our loved ones how much we care. But then one day you blink and you realize you missed the opportunity and you can’t get it back.
It will only take a moment to tell your family, your kids, your friends, your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend that you love them or to tell them how much you care. And it is always a moment that’s worth taking.
I told Olivia I loved her every single day and that is one of the saving graces that has helped me endure her loss. I had a gut feeling I wouldn’t get to keep her for long and I wanted to make sure that beautiful baby girl knew how deep my love ran for her.
And now I try to tell my nearest and dearest how much I treasure them as often as possible. God has blessed me with some truly wonderful people in my life and I don’t want to wonder if they know how deeply I care. And I beg you to do the same. Try not to save the I love you’s for another day. Because another day just might not come.
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.