Another new year has begun and I can’t help but be struck by how different the beginning of this new year is compared to the last.
On January 4, 2017 I made the most difficult decision of my life when I chose to officially end my nearly 8 year long marriage to my high school sweetheart. It was a choice I never dreamed of making when I said “I do” at the young age of 22. But it was one that became necessary after so many years of life beating us up in every way imaginable.
That marriage gave me four beautiful children. Two of them are in Heaven, including my precious Olivia, and another baby who was unfortunate enough to end up in my fallopian tube.
The beginning of 2017 was horribly sad. I don’t know that I’ve ever cried that much in all my life. We left so much behind as the kids and I moved delicately into a new and unknown chapter in life. We’ve all spent a lot of time in counseling over the past year as we heal from the losses we’ve each experienced.
But now as 2018 begins I am truly and joyfully happy. My kids are doing so well. Wyatt is in Kindergarten and thriving. My littlest Landon is 3 years old with the vocabulary of a 5 year old and boundless amounts of energy. The boys still have a wonderful relationship with their dad and see him every week.
I’ve also been blessed to find a new love who makes each day so beautiful for me. I am constantly in awe of how he has embraced my children and I so completely. We began 2018 in his hometown where the boys were able to meet his family. Watching the joy in my little boys faces was wonderful as they ran free on the acres of land, drove tractors, went sledding and played with newfound family members.
This life has been filled with a lot of heartache. But little by little it has turned into something more beautiful and peaceful than I could have ever imagined.
I hope and I pray that 2018 is a wonderful year filled with new beginnings for all of us. And I wish the same for each of you.
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 $225,000 to pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.