The cards we’ve been mailed have been piling up on our dining room table for weeks, a little over eight weeks to be exact. I’ve been working to clean up and get things reorganized around the house. Part of that has included going through all the cards and in some cases opening a few that we just could not when they originally arrived. They were the cards we knew would take extra time to process and would cause us to grieve even more than usual. That may seem impossible, but was very real when your dad and I read through each and every card this weekend. The cards/pictures from your TK classmates were the hardest for me. One of your friends drew a picture of you and wrote on it that she’ll miss your “pretty curly hair.” I miss your beautiful curly hair too. Lots of other cards included drawings and messages about you being such a good friend, that you’re missed and that you were liked and loved by many of your classmates. Olivia, you were so incredible lucky to have had such a supportive and loving school community. I hope Caba has as positive of an experience as you.
Last week while daddy was attending his usual weekly Rotary meeting the club made the extremely generous announcement that they would be making a contribution in your memory to your school, specifically the Special Education program. Daddy knew that a donation was going to be made, but when they announced that they would be providing a $5K donation in your memory, we were both shocked. We thought the club was going to donate between and $1,000 or $2,000. We never imagined it being more than double that! I’m sure your school will be just as surprised as we were. We love the thought of other students with disabilities benefiting from your life.
While going through the sympathy cards we also came across a couple donation checks. The people who wrote them are probably wondering why they have not been deposited. Sorry. We’ll be passing them onto the appropriate organizations this week. Both SNAP and DREDF gave us a list of all the people who donated to each of them in your memory. Over 30 donations have been made in your honor. That’s so cool! There is absolutely no question about how much you were loved by our community of friends. It makes me so proud to know that more children will be able to swim and be served because of you.
Your daddy and I weren’t sure what to do with all the cards aside from save them, of course, but after giving it some thought we decided to take some photos of them. I’m working on a new Livy scrapbook and I wanted to somehow include the hundreds of cards in the book. We put all the cards, letters, poems and flower arrangement notes into a giant heart and tree shape. It turned out beautiful. We won’t be able to see every detail, but it will certainly remind us of how much you were loved by others.
While we went though each card we took turns reading them. Your brother also helped out. Whenever it was his turn to read a card he would say, “we love you, Livy, thank you.”
We love you, Olivia.