Friday, August 7, 2009

A Birthday to Remember.....

As many of you know, August is a very busy month for the Harris family and our close network of friends. Everyone in my immediate family (Tommy, Caroline, Myself, Skip, and Carter) has a birthday in August!! Yes, very strange, I know, but nonetheless it is what it is. Our close network of friends also has many August birthdays.. Happy Birthday to all of you:) For obvious reasons, this year has been a little different. We have tried, for the other two children, to make it as special as we always do. Tommy was the big "16" on the 1st and our baby, Caroline, was 4 on the 3rd. That was a very hard day for me, as I cannot believe that my baby is 4. I turned 34 on the 4th. My birthday was very different from years past, although much more special this year. As I sat at INOVA with Carter-Man and Jenny on my 34th birthday, I did a lot of reflecting on years past. I remembered the pool parties I used to have at my Nanny and Papa's. Boy do I miss them...they were so very special to me and I was very special to them. My Papa was a very important man in my life and I miss him each day. I can see him peaking his head out of his window yelling to my mom, "Charlotte Carol, does she have sunscreen on her nose?" He was always worried about me getting sunburned on my nose...I am now obsessed with that on my own children. I love and miss you, Papa!!! I also reflected on how birthdays have changed over the years. I looked at my teenage birthdays and how I wanted to be with my friends and oh how I look back and wish I could change some of that. I remember my 16th was a Sunday at my house at Belle Meade Court was probably the most special birthday that I can remember..spent with family and friends. My wonderful parents got me a car (COURTIE- for those that remember)and I loved it:) My Papa took me the next day to get my driver's license. What an exciting day and spent with the most amazing man that I have ever known! He was very nervous that morning but he tried so hard not to show it. Then was my 21st birthday spent with some friends that were just friends for a season..although I still think of them often. My 30th birthday was the most meaningful- Caroline was just 1 day old. I spent it with her and my family at Mary Washington Hospital. I would not have wanted to be anywhere else. And my I will never, ever forget. I spent it with my "sister" and best friend, Jenny and my one true hero, Carter-Man. I was also blessed to spend it with some very special friends, ones that I have met along this journey. It is very ironic that they all just happened to come to Carter-Man's room at the same time..coincidence, I think not! It was so very special to me...thank you to Erin Whitmer, who brought me treats (they were sooo good) and some sparkling Lemonade that I love and that precious Baby Noah who gives us all hope, thank you to Sarah Knight for visiting with us in 520 and bringing your smile that provides hope and faith in all of us (her daughter, Sweet Julia Grace, had already been released but had come back for a minor surgery- it just so happened to be on my birthday), and thank you to Gisselle for coming by at the same time and bringing your optimism. This was definitely a birthday I will always hold near and dear to my heart, spent with people that God has brought together to provide each other with hope, faith, and strength through the most trying times. I love all of you and am so thankful that our paths have crossed:) I would not have wanted to be anywhere else but with my precious Carter-Man! Thank you to everyone for all of the gifts and the phone calls. Thank you to "my girls" for a nice dinner out..I had so much fun...I love all of you more than you will ever know. Thank you to Mom, Tom, Chad, and Skip for the gorgeous bracelet. And last but not least...thank you to my amazing husband for just being you. You are simply are the best husband and father EVER! The bracelet and the roses were more than thoughtful. I will never take the bracelet off.. I LOVE YOU!!! Now enough of this and onto the main attraction...the incredible, amazing, tough, handsome....CARTER-MAN!!!
Carter is doing AWESOME!!!! He is well on his way to getting better and better everyday. His breathing is still great and he is getting stronger and stronger everyday. We are now back to taking walks and going outside and he is so happy about that. His last 2 physical therapy sessions have been GREAT! His physical therapist says he is ready to stand and he is showing that he is definitely ready. He has attempted to for the last 2 days and he is well on his way to doing it:) Dr. Im (he gives medical advice to the Physical and Occupational Therapists) said that when he observed Carter's physical therapy session yesterday that it was the best session he has EVER seen with Carter-Man!! Go, Carter-Man, Go!!! I do not want to jinx us but our anticipated discharge date is the 17th...yes just a little over a week away!!! We are happy but nervous at the same time. We are going to have to adjust to a new kind of normal and that may take some time but we will get there. We have a long road ahead of us but we will get there! Carter-Man has proved that he is a hero and a fighter- HE WILL PREVAIL!!
Thank you to everyone for their continuous thoughts and prayers! Thank you to all who came out to the auction to support our family- we appreciate it more than you will ever know. Please pray for the following children as some are battling the same tumor as Carter and some different medical issues....Julia Grace, Eddie, Adeline, Andrew, Luke, Tyler, Christopher, Alexis, Ella, Lily, and Nicky. Please also pray for a friend of mine, Keeva, as she continues her battle with cancer (she is doing great and responding well to her treatments)- GO KEEVA!!!!!!

Love to you all,