The passing of any person is sad, but the passing of a child is just... breathtakingly sad. Gasping, sobbing, unfairly, desperately sad. Horrifyingly unfair. The kind of unfairness that reaches deep into your insides and pulls out your heart.
Olivia was, without a doubt, a special little girl with a very special family. I could see that so vividly on the night that nearly the whole Jones clan, plus Aunt Lizzie (CAL), came a-knockin' on my hospital room door. She and her sisters had spent that afternoon decorating a beautiful (and delicious) red velvet cake with a giant purple flower and Olivia wanted to share some with P and I. We knew of each other before and by some sick stroke of...luck, yes, I will say luck, were on the same floor at MD Anderson, in rooms across from one another, at the same time. You see, for those who don't know, Oliva's family, through some strange twists in the universe, is very friendly with my extended family, the Romans. My Grandma Roman taught several of Olivia's Aunts and Uncles. Olivia's cousin was my cousin's confirmation sponsor. Our Aunts are great friends. The odd thing is that it took both of us ending up at MDA (and a facebook connection through Craig Brandmeier) to find all of this out. Her Aunt Lizzie has been amazing to me and my Mom and it really felt like little, sweet Olivia was family.
She fought so valiantly, with so much courage, through more than I could ever imagine anyone enduring, let alone someone of only twelve. She was determined. Her family is amazing, it is no wonder. There is so much love and support between them, they are inspiring. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to sit with Olivia a few times, chatting about Glee (she had the coolest Glee poster that was signed by the whole cast, she was so proud of it!) and sharing pictures of our pets (her little Sassy and my two nuggets). Her hospital room had been converted into a warm, PINK, comfort zone, her ever-dedicated mom and sisters decorated every inch of it. I recall that she had some awesome nail art painted onto her delicate hands and toes too. (Guess what Olivia? I painted mine sparkly pink with flowers and jewels last night, just for you). When I say that I was and am still inspired by her, I truly mean it in a way that she will stay with me forever.
Rest in sweet, comfortable, beautiful peace Olivia. You touched so many and I feel so, so blessed to be one of them. You were a warrior. I think Hit Girl would be proud. To the Jones and Fraijo families: We are wishing you comfort and peace in this time. There is so little than can be said. You have all been so wonderful to us, please know that Phil and I are keeping you close in our hearts during this time. Your Olivia is now a shining angel.
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BE THE MATCH.