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STATON: A special 13th birthday request

During the past 10-plus years, I have written about many people.

Many of you will remember my writings about Olivia Haddox, my youngest grandchild.

Olivia is one of the most talented kids I know for her age.

As I have written in past columns, she has never been shy about what she wants, and she seems to find a way to achieve it.

I have watched at the age of 2, she wanted to do what a large group of kids were doing at the Louisville Zoo.

She stood there for a minute and sized the group up, and before I knew it, she was right in the middle of the group.

It made no difference to her that she knew no one in that pile of kids or that they were older than her.

I felt so proud of her at that point, and she has made me even more proud ever since.

Her acting abilities, along with her singing and dancing, are a joy to watch as she does them all on stage effortlessly.

I have tried to not be prejudiced as I have watched her perform, and I can tell by the crowd’s reactions they agree with me.

Her talent is undeniable.

It seems that, with Olivia, you never know what she will do next.

When she was little, I found I needed to begin writing down the things she said because I did not want to forget them. I still find many of those sayings so funny yet thoughtful.

She has a tender heart, and one Christmas, I remember her telling me when I asked her what she wanted that she wanted what I understood her saying was a “peas” top.

Come to find out, she just wanted a “Peace” top. She wanted peace in the world.

Her birthday request this year made me so proud.

For her birthday, she wanted to have people donate to National Suicide Prevention since it was dear to her heart.

Her Mom told me she did not even know she had done this until she saw it on Facebook.

When I saw this, I decided to ask her why she chose this.

Her response to me was this, “Because, it seems like everyone gives to breast cancer, cancer or St. Jude, but you never hear about giving to suicide prevention.”

She told me it was needed, too. She set a pretty high goal for a little girl — $200. She has reached $120 in two day’s time, so I think she will make it.

Knowing Olivia, I do not doubt it.

I did, however, call the National suicide prevention to ask exactly where the money went, and was told that 85 percent of the money went to teens, kids or veterans and the other 15 percent went for employees and marketing costs.

The suicide hotline number to call if you know of someone contemplating suicide is 1-800-448-3000. The mailing address is National Suicide Prevention, P.O. Box 8000, Boys Town, Nebraska 68010.

To say I was proud of Olivia thinking of others rather than herself for her birthday is an understatement.

She is the youngest grandchild we have, and to think that she is going to turn 13 — a teenager — Oct. 9 blows my mind.

Where have the years gone? With her living in Louisville, I have not been with her as much as I have wanted.

Her sister, Stephenie, who is 14 years older than her and thought her Mom had ruined her life when she told her she was pregnant with Olivia, commented how grown up she was becoming.

Olivia and Stephenie’s love for one another is amazing.

Olivia once told me that everyone thought her sister, Stephenie was so “cool.”

Well, I agree that Stephenie is pretty cool, but I think Olivia is pretty cool, too.

So, I want to say a very happy birthday to this new teenager.

I love her so much and wish her the best throughout life.

 

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.