This morning as I was eating breakfast with my little boys, I made the mistake of getting on Facebook. The first image to catch my eye was a memory from 6 years ago. It was a reminder that on this day 6 years ago we were celebrating Olivia’s very last chemo treatment after she beat brain cancer.
Of course, that wasn’t Olivia’s last chemo treatment ever. In reality, the cancer would return just a few short months later and before the end of 2013 she would be gone.
That reality hit me like a tidal wave this morning and before I knew it I was sobbing. My boys looked at me with tears in their eyes, unsure of what to do with their mommy’s emotions.
There’s no poignant way to say that.
You can be trucking along, believing that you are doing well, and managing your grief while going through the motions in life. And then just like that, grief sneaks back up and smacks you. Grief wants to make sure you remember that you are in fact still grieving no matter how much time goes by.
Grieving my daughter isn’t just about grieving her actual death. It is also about grieving the loss of her future and my future with her. It’s grieving the loss of who she would’ve become.
Her twin brother, Wyatt, is turning 7 next week. We are planning his birthday celebrations and going through a daily countdown until that big day. His excitement brings me so much joy!
But Olivia should be celebrating her 7th birthday too. She should be planning a birthday party too, excitedly telling us about what she wants for her birthday, and which friends from school she wants to invite.
She should be here.
But she isn’t.
Cancer stole that from her and from all of us.
Instead, I am left with the memory of the smiling little girl in that picture. And the daily reminder that I want to do something great to honor her.
Each year we ask for our friends, family and supporters to donate the dollar amount of the year Olivia would be turning if she was still with us. This year, we are asking that everyone who can donates $7 in honor of Olivia’s 7th birthday.
Our goal is to raise $7,000 this month! To date we have raised $2,150 towards our goal! Will you help us reach $7,000? That is enough to pay for 7 genetic profiles for children being treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
You can donate now by visiting http://www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org or https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/NTAxMTY=.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit based in Casper, WY that was established in memory of Olivia Caldwell. Olivia passed away from brain cancer at 20 months old in October 2013. To date, the Olivia Caldwell Foundation has given $325,000 to pediatric cancer research in just 5 years. Learn more about the foundation and donate by visiting http://www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.