Still Leading On

Dear Livy,

Some say that the first year is the hardest. Others say the second year is harder because friends and family forget and stop checking in to asking how you’re doing. I can’t imagine the pain being any worse than it already is and I also can’t picture those who have been by my side these past several months suddenly drifting away. What I do know, and have experienced, is that death can either bring people closer together or create the thickest concrete wall you’ve ever seen.

I’m reminded daily of how much you impacted my life. You made me a better person, a better advocate, a better listener and a better parent. The list goes on and on. Today I was reminded of how you changed the way I felt about IEPs and the district, parent relationship prior to our first meeting. This morning I met with our district superintendent. We’re planning a school board presentation on the benefits that come from building relationships with IEP team members beyond the meeting table. This would not be happening if it weren’t for you. Nearly 10 months have passed since you left and your 4 year old self is still making an impact. You continue to make me proud to be your mom.

I will forever celebrate everything you’ve taught and given me to hold onto. There will always be tears, but sometimes there will also be happy ones too.

Your Dad, Sage and a few of our close friends and family will be attending Day of Remembrance tomorrow. It was an invitation we accepted from the hospital last month. There will be photos of you and Sage, you and Aria and a couple of just you projected on the wall, with the other children who also didn’t get to come home from the hospital. Undoubtably there will be many, many tears, but my hope is that some of mine will include tears of pride. I miss you every minute of everyday and while I’m still working to accept that I can’t have you back, the least I can do is continue to share you with those who didn’t get a chance to meet my beautiful daughter.

I love you, Livy.



2 thoughts on “Still Leading On

  1. Sally Gelardin says:

    Chris, Tears come to my eyes because Olivia is also is in me every day. I see the space between her two front teeth. I had a space between my two front teeth when I was a child until I had orthodonture to close the gap. The gap will never be closed in my heart. She was a strong girl with a mind of her own, very loving and both social and sensory. She influenced me to make each moment special, not to do things that are not meaningful to me. It’s not that everything I do during each day is fabulous, but I think of what Olivia would do during each day and I become more in the moment, more present. It’s not that I don’t become anxious about things but I move through my neuroses. Olivia would have held us, accepted our grieving, as well as our happiness. She was pure love, also mischievous, with dimples and bright eyes in the photo. xxx Sally


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