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  • S.O

The Valley

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

I’m sitting in front of this computer screen, eyes dry, coffee to my left, and a warm compress around my neck. I’ve a headache…a substantial throb at the base of my skull; it’s been there all week. My husband and I were out to dinner yesterday evening (not a date, we’d just left the hospital and hadn’t eaten in hours) when I averted my eyes to the table and said, “I think I should update the blog.”


He nodded silently.


I substantiated my claim (as if I needed to) knowing full well that my husband and I’ve only ever been on the same page for everything regarding Olivia.

I know how rare a gift that is.

“I think it’s important that we document what’s going on, right now, while we’re in it.”


“I agree.” He said considerately. “I don’t think there should be this huge gap of silence, otherwise we’ll look back and have nothing to draw from. There’ll be this void.”


Now, however, with this curser static after every sentence, I realize that I was substantiating a claim to myself. I was grasping at the validity of the story, this story, our story, despite combating my own futility and avoidance, as I struggle to find the words.


Olivia is on hospice.


I’d like to insert some sort of anecdote, quote, or statement to make that sentence go down smoother, but I’ve nothing.


I’d also like to insert some declaration of courageousness, but as I yearn for truth, I’ll also give it.


Our daughter hasn’t much time left.


We’ve been relatively aware of this since 2019, though nothing prepares you for the reality of witnessing disease progression firsthand.


Presently, we’ve been told to plan for a year or so with the likelihood a next significant bout with illness could prove catastrophic.


Though there are suggestive variables there, a tremendous shift is happening in our lives, tectonic plates fracturing apart to build new continents, the emotional gravitas only ever pacified by the excruciating beauty of loving someone so wholly, as they walk the realm of this world and the next.


I suppose Olivia was only ever a visitor.

I suppose we all are.

She's magnificent though.

This child of limited quantitative earthly intelligence, so very keen.


I wish you all could see her. Truly see her. Like her father and I’ve had the ability to see her.

A whole universe lies behind those grey eyes of hers, unspoken epiphanies that she communicates in the way that she loves.

I’ll spend the rest of my life drawing from my interactions with her, indelible moments of joy and sorrow.


I won’t go into the specifics or the details of hospice, and/or her clinical manifestations.


I haven’t the desire to reduce my daughter to a set of catalogued occurrences.

There is a time and place for medical dialogue. This blog isn’t it.


This blog was only ever meant to be our safe space, a platform to tell you about a little girl named Outlaw.


So, I’ll continue to do just that…. with all of the articulation and grace I can muster.


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11 Comments


Cj Winston
Cj Winston
Sep 30, 2022

Wow.. I worked with Olivia for only a short period of time but she was the sweetest and her family was amazing. She was so loved and she loved so much. It feel like it was just yesterday we were upstairs, working on her pushing her wheelchair herself. Rest peacefully sweet girl. Heaven has definitely upgraded with your presence..

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Shalamar Iris
Shalamar Iris
May 22, 2023
Replying to

CJ,


Though our time with you was brief, we valued how exceptional you were with little O. She made great strides with you!


You are in the right field.

You have a gift with nonverbal children, and are doing God’s work. 🤍


*Thank you for being here,

I apologize for my delay.

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Carmen Sieg
Carmen Sieg
Sep 11, 2022

I am Olivia’s grandmama; her other nene😔. You will not find much of me in the pictures or my daughter’s blog . Nevertheless, I exist in Olivia’s beautiful heart. You see, Olivia and I have a unique bond that transcends this earthly realm. I have never commented on this blog because I have been by my daughter’s side throughout her journey with Olivia. I supposed this is a good time to give credit to the advances in technological science ( e.g. FaceTime, duo etc.). I do not need to read about Olivia’s journey, I have witnessed it first hand. During my time with Olivia we played, sing, danced , (yeah, you read it right), danced among other things. I su…

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Just heard the news from Billie... my heart aches for you all. Olivia has been such a special gift to you and this blog has been a gift to those of us who never met her sweet soul. Prayers for your peace and comfort during this difficult time. 💗

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Shalamar Iris
Shalamar Iris
May 22, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for your prayers, Julie.

They were heard. 🤍

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My heart is fuller knowing that your precious Olivia has been a part of it from her birth. Praying for her beautiful and loving heart to carry that perfect laughter with her for eternity. What a blessing she is and thankyou for sharing her with us!!!❤🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️

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Shalamar Iris
Shalamar Iris
Aug 30, 2022
Replying to

♥️

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Thank you for sharing your families journey. Olivia is a beautiful soul. You and Keith are blessed. Hugs and love from Kyle and I.

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Shalamar Iris
Shalamar Iris
Aug 28, 2022
Replying to

♥️

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