People ask me often how I can cling to my faith the way I do after losing my only daughter to brain cancer before she even made it to her 2nd birthday. And the answer to that question always takes me back to the night Olivia died.
Watching a loved one, especially your child, die is excruciating. I will never forget the sound of raspy breathing that began just after Olivia slipped into her final sleep. For almost exactly 24 hours we listened intently to that heart wrenching sound and waited for it to stop. We knew we were in the final stages of her life.
And then it happened. At 7:09 pm on October 22, 2013 Olivia stopped breathing all together. For more than a minute there was no sound. Then suddenly, without warning, Olivia opened her eyes and let our three beautiful, soft breaths and then closed her eyes one final time.
She was gone and I was absolutely devastated.
But even in my devastation I knew I had just witnessed a miraculous healing. I had watched my daughters face as she came face-to-face with Jesus, took his hand and left her cancer-filled body behind.
The look of complete peace, joy and contentment on her face is something I will never, ever forget.
When I feel depressed and my soul aches for my girl my mind travels back to those precious moments. I no longer need to worry and wonder if Olivia will ever be healed or if she’s safe. I miss my daughter endlessly but I have peace in knowing I will see her again. And when I do she will be healthy, happy and running free in a body no longer overtaken by disease.
Until then my angel, I will continue to love you and treasure being your mama.
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. Since then we have given $225,000 to pediatric cancer research. To learn more or to donate please visit www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.