Our next article for the newsletter came out the other day.
I’m really not sure how or when the concept of Team Carter really happened. It’s just a phrase that somebody had said, and it kind of stuck. We needed to find a way to show Carter that we were proud of who he was, and that we were, or rather are, on his team. The team concept brought all of our family, friends, and even people who were once complete strangers into our circle. It quickly became obvious which doctors and nurses were on Team Carter, and which ones were not. Membership is a privilege, and every member realized it. You see, you can only be a member of Team Carter if you have the proper mindset…one that believes that this little boy was capable of anything, and that he would most certainly “keep on“ through the trials set before him. It wasn’t long before we had T-Shirts and wristbands showing our allegiance, and members were proud to wear them.
After Carter grew his wings, the goal of Team Carter changed from supporting him here on Earth, to continuing to “keep on” the work in his name. After all, that seems like the least we could do. If we can continue to share Carter’s story, or raise money for charity, then Carter can “keep on” changing lives. It is the perfect way to keep Carter’s memory going, and to help us in our healing. Our journey started with a local 5K race in July. Over 40 members of Team Carter participated, and several of those were from our railroad family. Most of these people were not avid runners, and you could feel the love for Carter as people pushed themselves to “keep on” across the finish line. We knew that Carter was smiling at us on that day.
We’ve also managed to do a couple of events in which we’ve raised money for charity, and all of it in Carter’s name. Our biggest event so far is coming up in December. I had heard about The Festival Of Trees, but never really knew what it was all about. A friend mentioned that we should participate for Carter, and I immediately started looking into it. I learned that groups can decorate a tree which is auctioned off with the proceeds going to Primary Children’s Hospital. It seemed only fitting considering Carter had most of his care at that hospital. Team Carter knew that we absolutely had to do this for the little guy.
The first step in creating Carter’s tree was deciding what kind of theme we would like to follow. After some discussion, we came up with the idea of doing a train theme because Carter really was “The Little Boy Who Could”. It seemed appropriate to name the tree “Keep On Keepin’ On” since like a train, Carter’s story will always “keep on”. People began sending train ornaments, train sets, and giving us ideas to make one amazing display. As we put this together for Carter, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for being the mommy to such an amazing child. The pride swells each time I find a new piece for the tree, or come up with a new idea. This is for him…it is about him… and it will help others. This is exactly what Team Carter is all about. We only hope that we can do enough to make him proud. Maybe, just maybe, on the day that the tree will be revealed, somewhere Carter will be smiling at us again.