Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One Year Ago Today....

One year ago today our loving God looked down upon us and decided our sweet boy had fought long and hard enough. It was time for him to go home. Although our hearts were ripped into small pieces, never to be restored again, we knew it was time to let him go...go to a place where there is no pain, no suffering, where there is unimagineable love, where his grandfather and great grandparents awaited him, a place we know he is today, smiling down upon us, a place where we know he is better than we could ever imagine. Don't mistake, I hate that he is not hear with us but my faith reminds me every minute that he is with his maker, the one who loves him more than we could ever imagine. It also brings us comfort that my father was waiting for him. I know how much my father loved children and his grandchildren would have been his world...now Carter is with him and I have no doubt that they are experiencing more joy than we could ever imagine and for that I am thankful.

One year ago today, we lost our precious son whom we adored. That day was painful, physically and emotionally. We both felt ill, as though we were truly coming down with a virus. The pain of losing a child is not just emotional but also physical. As this day has appraoched, I have felt that physical pain again. I feel it more now than ever. When Carter passed, we felt a sense of releif, not for us but for him. We hated to see him suffer...he could no longer talk, laugh, move, smile....it was a horrible way for a 6 year old to live. We had no clue what was to come. For me, it is more difficult now than then. I miss him more as the days pass. I miss his smile and his laughter, his amazing personality. I miss all of the things that we would be experiencing today....2nd grade, football, t-ball, swimming, Christmas with all 3 of our children...it hurts and I imagine this wil not go away as we watch other children experience all of the milestones that we so badly wanted to see Carter surpass. Our faith pushes us on. The sheer force of life pushes us on. Tommy and Caroline push us on! We pray for strength and rely on the prayers from others!!!

As we go throughout our day, we will have family here and we have something special planned for Caroline when she gets home. I want to thank the person or people who put the luminaries in our yard and the poinsettias. It was so very thoughtful and it reminded us that Carter will never be forgotten and how he touched so many peoples lives. Thank you so much! It truly means so much to us:)

I wanted to share a poem that my dear friend, Christine, sent to me after Carter passed. I read it often for reassurance!

"I'll lend you for a little time a child of mine," He said.
"For you to love the while he lives and mourn when he is dead,
"It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
"But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
"He'll bring his charms to gladden you, but should his stay be brief,
"You'll have his lovely memories, as solace for your grief,
"I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
"But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
"I've looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true,
"And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes I have selected you.
"Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain,
"Nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again?
I fancied that I heard them say: "Dear Lord, Thy will be done!
"For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness; we'll love him while we may,
And for happiness we've known forever grateful stay.
"But should the angels call for him much sooner than we'd planned,
"We'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand".

There is also another poem I received this week from my dear friend, Dawn that I wanted to share!

Tiny Angels
Tiny Angels rest your wings
sit with me for awhile.
How I long to hold your hand,
And see your tender smile.
Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear....
That I will forget your precious face
Is my biggest fear.
Tiny Angel can you tell me,
Why you have gone away?
You weren't here for very long....
Why is it, you couldn't stay?
Tiny Angel shook his head,
"These things I do not know....
But I do know that you love me,
And that I love you so".

I hope that you all have a blessed holiday season!!!

Please pray for my dear friend, Jaime and her family, as her Dad was called home this morning!

Also, please continue to pray for sweet Alexis Agiun as she continues to fight!!

With Love,


The picture below was the last picture taken before Carter was diagnosed. It is a true picture of Carter- his smile, his laughter, and his amazing personality!!! Thank you, Becca, for taking this:)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Parade

Tonight is the annual Christmas parade in downtown Fredericksburg. This has always been a big event for our family. We all gather with hot chocolate and goodies for the children. We are all bundled up and ready to watch as the holiday season is truly kicked off. As I get ready for tonight, I feel the absence, the absence of my precious baby. He loved the holidays and especially the parade. There will be a huge void tonight but I know he will be watching over us! I have included pictures of him at the last parade he attended in 2008 and of Caroline and Tommy. We are so blessed with all three of them:)

Carter, we miss and love you more than words could ever express!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that all of you are surrounded by love, laughter, family, and friends!!

As I reflect on past Thanksgivings, I remember the wonderful memories I have of Carter. I remember his laughter, his contagious smile, and most of all his love of family gatherings. He always looked so forward to when we were all together. Carter had a tremendous love for his family. Also, I must not forget, his love for food, especially his "fweets". On holidays, he knew that where we all came together there was food. Carter LOVED to eat! He would anticipate what Grandma and Gagee were cooking. Yes, they normally do the majority of the cooking. He knew that there would be lots of things that he would LOVE. They always have made sure that there are several things that are "child-friendly". Oh how he loved Thanksgiving. Not only did it mean a family gathering, but it meant LOTS OF FOOD!!!! And boy did that make him happy!!!!! It makes me smile to remember and at the same time it breaks my heart into one thousand pieces. This will be our first Thanksgiving without our sweet boy. Last year we were blessed to have him here with us and for that we were so thankful. Over the last month, I have thought about things I am thankful for. I have to be honest..at times it was so difficult. All I could think about was the fact that Carter was not here with me..what in the world do I have to be thankful for? I prayed and I prayed and asked God to remind me of all the things I have to be thankful for and of course, he delivered. He reminded me of all of the blessings that I have...a family that is like no other- a mother who would do anything to assure my happiness, a step father that gives beyond measure and is always there for us, a husband who is remarkable in every way, a grandmother who God uses as a tool in our family to provide us with strength and comfort, an aunt who loves unconditionally and has provided a void in my life for many years, in-laws that are caring, loving and supportive, a brother and soon to be sister in law who are loving and always a phone call away, a sister who, although far away in distance, is always there when needed and close to us in heart, and most of all a daughter.....an energetic, full of life, compassionate, loving, independent daughter whom I love more than words could ever express. She is the reason that I am able to move on...When I rise in the morning, I know that she needs me and that gives me the drive I need to get up and go. The list could go on..when I asked God to remind me, he did and he did it beyond measure!!! My entire family was and still is amazing. They realize that some days are better than others....and they understand because they too have good and bad days!! We are all in this together and although no words may be spoken, we just understand!!! I am also thankful for the network of friends that God blessed me with. The majority of my closest friends have been in my life for 15-20 years and even more! I am so thankful for them and their support of Carter and our family. And I could not forget, the friends I have met along this journey. They are truly a God-send. Although none of us wanted to be in this "club", we are lucky to not be alone. I love them all dearly and am thankful for their love and friendship. So as you begin your thanksgiving day, please remember to be thankful...love your family, hold your children as tight as possible, assure them how much you love them, and most of all be thankful!!! There are families, like ours, that are spending their first Thanksgiving without their child and there are families who are not spending Thanksgiving like they should be..their children are struggling and fighting for their life. Please be thankful for the blessings in your life!!!!

Please keep us in your prayers today as we face this first nd all of the families spending Thanksgiving with a void intheir life! Please also keep sweet Alexis Agin and her family in your thoughts and prayers as she is in the midst of this horrific battle.


Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!


Courtney with Carter on my mind and in my heart!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Golf Tournament

Good Morning, everyone! The golf tournament for Carter' Crusaders is rapidly approaching. It is October 7th at Lee's Hill Golf Course. I have about 10 hole sponsors but need many more. I am hoping to make this a huge success. Not only did little Declan lose his battle, there are 2 other children (that I know of) in the area that are battling brain cancer. One of those children is the child of someone who grew up on the same street as myself. He is 12 years old and was very athletic- he is now unable to play any sports. He is currently undergoing treatment. THIS HAS TO END!!! The only way for that to happen is to raise awareness and money for research. We have changed the way that we will split the proceeds- 1/4 will go to The Cure Starts Now, 1/4 to Just One More Day, 1/2 will be split between the 2 local families. Please help us make this a success. If you would like to register to play or sponsor a hole, please contact Chuck Harris at Lee's Hill at 891-0111. Thank you again for your continued support!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!!!

Please be aware that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! I was reading on all of the sites of children that I follow and I found these statistics on a page in honor of a little boy, Declan (www.declansjourney.com). Declan's story has touched my heart in a very profound way. He battled AT/RT for about 6 months and then went home to Heaven just days before his 1st Birthday. There is also another local couple whose daughter is battling AT/RT. Visit www.evybeatscancer.blogspot.com! I wanted to share these statistics with you as we enter the month of September. Please wear a gold ribbon this month and share Carter's story with someone. Visit Declan's page and Evy's page and share their stories. Let others know that childhood cancer does exist and it is absolutely necessary that we find a cure!!!

- The American Cancer Society’s Annual Report shows $1 BILLION in total public support and it’s Extramural/Intramural Funding in Priority Areas shows only $4 MILLION is directed to childhood cancers. Less than half a penny of each of these dollars is directed to the #1 killing disease for kids under the age of 20

- For children between 1-19 years, cancer is the fourth leading cause of death overall, and the leading cause of disease related death. It remains responsible for more deaths from ages 1-19 than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS COMBINED

- Approximately 46 U.S. children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single day

- 1 in every 330 children will develop cancer before the age of 19

- National Cancer Institute’s Federal Budget was $4.6 billion from this total ALL twelve major pediatric cancers received LESS THAN 3% of this budget

- For every six research dollars per patient with AIDS and every one research dollar per patient with breast cancer, a child with cancer receives only 30 cents

- Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet there are many cancers that are almost exclusively found in children

- 1 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer dies

- 3 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer suffer from long-term or late onset side effects

- Common cancer symptoms in children are often suspected to be common illnesses and thus treated as such causing cancer to be found at later stages

- Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage when the disease would react more favorably to treatment have largely failed

- Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that their disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that their cancer has spread to distant sites

- Cause of childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented

- Nationally, childhood cancer is 20 times more prevalent than pediatric AIDS yet pediatric AIDS receives four times the funding that childhood cancer receives

- On the average, 12,500 children in the US are diagnosed with cancer each year

- On the average, one in ever four elementary schools has a child with cancer

- 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer

- Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas and relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

- Every day 9 children in the US are diagnosed with a brain tumor

- Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death from childhood cancer

- There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors, making effective treatment very complicated

- Because brain tumors are located at the control center for thought, emotion and movement, their effects on a child’s physical and cognitive abilities can be devastating

- At this time, brain cancer research is underfunded and THE PUBLIC REMAINS LARGELY UNAWARE of the magnitude of this disease

- The cure rate for most brain cancers is significantly lower than that for many other types of cancer

- The funding for pediatric cancer clinical trials has gone down every year since 2003, and is currently $26.4 million. By comparison, NCI funding for AIDS research was $254 million in 2006; funding for breast cancer topped $584 million the same year

- We may spend 3-5 times the amount of research money per patient on most adult cancer cases than we do on children with cancer

- In general, children with Central Nervous System (CNS) cancer do not share the favorable prognosis of those with many other common pediatric neoplasms


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday, Carter-Man!!!

Dearest Carter,
Seven years ago today God gave your Daddy and I the most precious gift- a beautiful, precious, happy, healthy baby boy and that was you! You and your sister, Caroline are the most precious gifts I have ever received. I knew from the moment that you were born that you were very special! I told everyone close to us that you were special- they,of course, thought I was just another new mother doting over her newborn. However, I knew different. There was a certain thing about you that told my heart you were different- I knew God had huge plans for you. The day that you were born there were 43, yes 43, people waiting for you to be delivered. Your Aunt Jenny counted for me so that I would know just how very special you were!!! She also told me of a man who stopped to ask her if everyone had come on a bus- she just laughed! He also asked her if a king was being born- of course she replied yes and she was right- YOU ARE A KING, sent from the Greatest King of all time, our loving God! Today marks 7 years since that day. I am glad that I did not know then what I know. In your short 6 years here on earth, you touched more lives than I knew possible. Even before you fell ill, you melted the hearts of everyone you met with your sweet smile, your contagious laugh and your zest for life. Anyone who met you loved you. Throughout those short 6 years, I longed to watch you grow up and do the things that little boys do- play baseball with the big boys (as you would say),continue to play football (even though it made me soooo nervous), swim on the swim team (which you LOVED), climb the grade ladders at school, learn to read, loose your 1st tooth, have your first girlfriend, go the Homecoming and Prom, and eventually spread your wings and fly and go on to college and get married and have children. Unfortunately for me, God had a different plan- a plan that breaks my heart daily, although I trust in Gods plan and know that although short in years, your life was rich in many other ways! You are the bravest, most courageous child I know. Throughout your battle, you still showed us that sweet smile and amazing personality. You always made me so very proud and you continue to do so. I continue to see your impact on this world and it brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.

Today and every birthday hereafter, we will celebrate your life just as I know you would want us to. We will eat spaghetti (your favorite food) and have cake. Although sadness will be present, we will celebrate- celebrate your life and how very thankful we are for the time that we had with you here on earth. We will look forward to the day we get to see you again and touch your sweet face and kiss you!! I know that you are dancing with the angels today, including Dad, Papa, Gran, and Nanny, and that, my sweet boy, makes me happy!!!! Happy Birthday, my sweet Carter-Man! I love you and miss you so very much!!!

Love you with all of my heart,


Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Hello Crusaders! I must apologize again for not posting recently. I have been very busy and very emotional. I am trying to get myself back in the swing of posting. I am very excited about some of the things that are happening right now. Carter's Crusaders is currently applying for our 501(3)(c)status. For those that do not know, this is the IRS status for a non-profit organization. Skip and I and our family and closest friends are determined to do as much as we can to raise awareness and funds for research so that a cure can be found for the monster that took our precious Carter-Man from us. We do not want another child, family, or community to go through what we have been through. THIS HAS BECOME OUR LIFE MISSION!!!!

There are several great things going on. We are currently trying to team up with other foundations in the area to promote more awareness and more funds for families going through the battle and for research. We have already teamed with Fredericksburg Event Syndicate to promote awareness. They are a wonderful organization and are trying to help us in our fight!!! We need you to join us in this fight, as well!!! Below is a list of events that are currently going on and in the works. Please try and come out and support us in our fight!!


Please come out to Smokey Bones on Friday nights to help us in our crusade!!! There is a great music from DJ THE DON, raffles, door prizes, and more!!! I hope to see you all there!!!


The annual golf tournament will be held on October 7th at Lee's Hill Golf Course. Please contact Chuck Harris at 891-0111 or 408-3611. This will be a wonderful event....raffles, t-shirts, prizes, and more!!!!


I am currently trying to organize a dance in the Fall. I am going to try and team with other organizations in the area to set this up. Once I have a venue and a date, I will let you all know!!!

Thank you again for your continued support!!!

With Much Love,

The Harris Family

Sunday, June 13, 2010

6 months ago today......

Six months ago today, our lives changed. A piece of our hearts was removed, never to be replaced again, never to be healed. It hurts, as if there was an actual removal from our bodies....as if we truly had surgery and there was pain except that this pain is much deeper than any pain from a surgery. This pain will never go away. There is a scar, a scar that will not fade or be gone. It will remain on our hearts forever...never to be changed. The pain of losing a child is like no other....we are forever changed. We love and miss Carter more than any words could ever express. With each passing day, the reality becomes more apparent that he is not here with us and the fog is lifted. Reality sets in each morning and yet we are forced to move on and live the day as it is presented to us. And we do it...we do it as best we can for ourselves and for our Sweet Caroline. We have been asked to walk this path and we will do so as best we can. No matter how much time passes, it will never change. We will just learn different coping mechanisms and strive to make Caroline's life as normal as possible. The way it should have been, as if Carter had never been diagnosed with DIPG. We continue to keep his memory alive so that she will never forget him and that the memories of him are as fresh as the day we made them. We pray to our Almighty Lord to assist us in keeping his memories alive in our hearts and Caroline's. Please continue to pray with us...we need the prayers as much today as we did 6-12 months ago.

We have yet again been reminded of how precious life is. Skip's grandfather passed away last Tuesday. We are now in Florida to celebrate his life. We are with family and although we are so very heartbroken for having to be here for this reason, we are thankful for the time we are spending with our family. I have met some of Skip's family that I have never met and yet they have followed Carter's story since Day 1. I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet such marvelous people. I hate that it is under such awful circumstances but at the same time I have learned to treasure every moment...good or bad. Skip and I have had quite a year and a half. I lost my Papa in January 2009, my Grandaddy in September 2009, our sweet Carter-Man in December 2009, and Skip's grandfather now. And we continue to go on..we continue to praise God for all of the blessings and believe it or not, they do exist. Somedays, they are not completely apparent but they are there. Because of family, we were blessed to be able to take Caroline to Sea World yesterday. It was another bittersweet day....we had a wonderful time but the absence of Carter was there and we missed his precious smile and contagious laughter! We know he was there but boy how we wish we could see him and share all of the laughs we had with him! Nontheless, it was fun and Caroline had a blast!


The event at the Fairgrounds was wonderful! It was a thank you event for all of the support we received and also an awareness event to make everyone aware that we are still going strong. For a small event and one that was not intended to raise a large amount of money, we raised almost $1,000. After the cost of the event is deducted, we will be splitting the rest between The Cure Starts Now and Just One More Day. For any future events, we will do the same.

The Carter's Crusaders golf tournament has been rescheduled. It will be held on October 7, 2010. We are also thinking of doing a silent auction, as well. If you are able to help in any way, please let me know. My email is
courtieharris2@gmail.com. If you would like to register for the tournament, please call Chuck Harris at Lee's Hill Golf Tournament at 891-0111 or 408-3611. We need all of the support and these foundations that we donate to are wonderful. They are paving the way to a cure for DIPG. Please visit their sites for more information:


Thank you to everyone for your continued love, support, and prayers!



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thank You Event- June 5th- Fredericksburg Fairgrounds

Good Morning, All!!! I hope that you all have great plans for the Memorial Day Weekend. Please remember to pray for all of our military families and to thank a soldier for serving and protecting our country- THANK YOU, MARK HARRIS for protecting and serving our country!!!!

I wanted to make everyone aware of a FREE event that will take place on June 5th at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds from 12-4. This event is to thank everyone for their wonderful support during Carter's fight with DIPG. It is also to raise awareness to this awful disease and the numerous other brain tumors. There will be lots of fun things and many vendors. There will be a band, a Karaoke contest, clowns, face painting, moon bounces, and more! Bring the whole family for a fun filled event! Donations are accepted and all donations received will be split between The Cure Starts Now and Just One More Day. Both of these foundations are very near and dear to our hearts. We hope to see everyone there! Come out and help us raise awareness so that together we can find a CURE!!!!!!!

UPDATE ON GOLF TOURNAMENT: I should have posted this some time ago but life has been crazy! The golf tournament was postponed until late September or early October. When a definite date is set, I will be sure and let everyone know!!!!
Thank you to everyone for your continued support!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month

Good evening, Crusaders! Again, I apologize for the lack of postings. I sit down at night and try and post and I just can't. Reality has really set in here lately. I feel as though it is getting more difficult than easier. Some days I feel like Carter has been away and I think..okay I am ready for him to come home now. I am ready for him to crawl in the bed with me and snuggle. I want to stand at my kitchen window and look outside and see him running and playing in the yard. I want him to see how big Caroline has gotten and how much she has changed. I know he knows more than we know, but I want him here. I want to watch his first tee ball game, I want to watch him swim this summer. I want him to constantly ask me, "Mom, how many more days until we leave for vacation?" (This started in January..lol). I long to here his voice and kiss his sweet face. I long to hold him in my arms. I long to wrap him in favorite frog bath towel and warm him up after his bath. There are so many more and I am sure the list will only grow. I see children losing their teeth, learning to read more and more, doing homework, playing sports on the weekend, playing with their siblings and it breaks my heart.....I want my Carter to have all of the pleasures of this world. Although it angers me, I remind myself that he is in the glory land and that he will NEVER know any of the evils or pains of this world. Please do not misunderstand, I have not lost my faith but I am only human and I miss my son, my first born child. I pray everyday for God to forgive me for being angry and for him to remove the anger from my heart and some days are great but others are just plain miserable. I have learned to deal with these days better and I get through them and I try and stay strong for Skip and Caroline. Skip has very rough days and I know that he needs me just as I need him on the very rough days. It normally works out that when I am having a rough day, he is better and vice versa...isn't it funny how God works? Sometimes I look around and everyone is doing what they have always done..their lives are the same. They have moved on (not that they do not miss Carter because I know that they do) but they have their lives as they always have. I know you are not supposed to feel jealousy but I have to say that sometimes I am jealous..jealous that their lives are as they have always been and that mine will NEVER again be the same. But as I have said, I pray for the jealousy to be gone and for God to speak to my heart and guide me in the right direction and he does...he always picks me up when I am down. And although I have bad days, he continues to bless me in many ways. Some days I have to look for the blessings but they are always there. I do not mean to sound so down and so negative but this is the life..the life of a parent who has lost a child. Will it change? Will I ever not think about what he would be doing? I doubt it...maybe I will just learn to deal with it better! Please continue to pray for us!!!

On to another note..May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Please wear Grey for the month and think of Carter. Please spread the word and make people aware. That is what we need.....AWARENESS!!!! I have added Carter to the Wall of Courage. The website is www.wallofcourage.com. If you go to the site and go to Gallery of Kids, you can click on the letter "C" and scroll down...you will see his precious face. If you click on his picture and look to the right, you will see a larger picture and a part that says Click Here for this Child's Gear. You can click here and a list of items will come up. There are many items for purchase with Carter's picture on it. 100% of the proceeds go to research for Pediatric Brain Tumors. Please take the time and look at the items and if youa re able, place an order. SPREAD THE WORD!!!! TELL CARTER'S STORY!! It is the only way that we can find a cure! Thank you so much for your continue love and support!!!

Love to you all,


Monday, April 12, 2010

Still Crusading.....

Good evening all!! I apologize for the lack of postings but as you can imagine, life has been a little crazy. I promise for an "official" update within the next couple of days. I want everyone to know that Carter's Crusaders is still in existence. We plan on being around for a long time to help others fight the horrible disease that our Carter-Man had. We are in the planning stages of some events. The first event will be what will now be considered The Annual Carter's Crusaders Golf Tournament. It will be held on May 20th at Lee's Hill Golf Course. Please come out and support us and our Carter-Man as we continue our fight against this disease. All of the funds will be distributed among 3 different foundations...The Cure Starts Now, Just One More Day, and St. Baldrick's. Please contact Chuck Harris at Lee's Hill- 540-891-0111.

I promise for an update on how we are doing soon!!!

Much Love,


Friday, March 26, 2010

Pictures from St. Baldrick's event

I wanted to share some of the pictures from the St. Baldrick's event. I hope that you all enjoy them as much as we enjoyed the event. Also, it is not too late to register for the Race for Hope in DC under Carter's Crusaders. I will also be posting more about the Golf Tournament at Lee's Hill on May 20th, where all proceeds will be distributed among three different foundations....The Cure Starts Now (www.thecurestartsnow.org), Just One More Day (www.justonemoreday.org), and St. Baldrick's (www.stbaldricks.org).

To all of the Shavees: I am so grateful to all of you for shaving in memory of Carter-Man. I know how proud he is of all of you. Skip and I are truly blessed to have friends and family like you all!!! You all have made our burden lighter and for that we are thankful. You were there for us through Carter's battle and you are still here....battling on with us!! We love and appreciate all that you have done and continue to do!!!!

Love to you all,


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Annual Golf Tournament- May 20th at Lee's Hill

Good Morning, all! I want to first thank all of the Carter's Crusaders for supporting us at the St. Baldrick's event. The turnout was awesome and the support from family and friends is still amazing! I am going to post some pictures later today from the event. Several people shaved in memory of Carter-Man, including two ladies, Ashley Thacker and Krystal Kennedy. You all are awesome! I know our Carter-Man was shining down on us!

I wanted to give everyone a heads up. Lee's Hill Golf Club will be hosting the 2nd Annual Carter's Crusaders Golf Tournament. Last years tournament was a HUGE success. I hope that this year is even better. The date of the tournament is May 20th. I will be posting more details as soon as they are ready. If you would like to register you can contact Chuck Harris at 540-891-0111. The proceeds from the event will be split between The Cure Starts Now, St. Baldrick's, and Just One More Day. These foundations are very near and dear to our hearts. Please come out and continue our fight with us. We are still crusading for our Carter-Man!!!!

If you would like to volunteer at the event, please contact me at courtieharris2@gmail.com.

Again, thank you for your continued support! We are so very blessed to have so many people that are continuing our fight with us!



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

St. Baldrick's event

Good afternoon! I wanted to make everyone aware of an upcoming event that Carter's Crusaders will be participating in. St. Baldrick's holds events where participants shave their heads in honor of or memory of children who have battled or are battling cancer. We have created the Carter's Crusaders team to participate. There are several ways in which you can help. You can join the team and come to the event on March 14 at 2:00 at Paddy's Steakhouse and Pub on 610 and shave in memory of Carter or volunteer in his memory. You can also donate to the Carter's Crusaders team. Please go to www.stbaldricks.org. You can search under events for Paddy's Steakhouse and Pub in Stafford or under Kids for Carter W. Harris. Here you can register, donate, or both. Please take the time to join the fight to conquer childhood cancer! This is a cause so very near and dear to our hearts...please join us in this fight!!!!!

With Love,

Courtney and Skip

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Carter still shows up at church......

Well....as most know, today it has been 2 months since Carter-Man went to be with our Heavenly Father. Just as I said in the last post, things have seemed to be getting harder. Reality is setting in but we continue to move forward. I had not planned on posting today but I could not go without sharing something with you all!! As you all know, we continue to receive messages and signs that Carter is okay. This morning was no different! I was very emotional this morning as Carter loved every holiday, including Valentine's Day. He LOVED his "fweets" (sweets, but Carter had trouble with his S sound)and he knew on Valentine's Day that there was lots of chocolate, candy and cookies circulating! As I gave Caroline her Valentine's Bag, my heart sunk. I loved seeing her as she went through her goodies but boy did I miss seeing his face and listening to him beg and plead to have just ONE piece of chocolate or candy in the morning. I held myself together and proceeded to get ready for church. I cried on the way to church as every song that came on had some meaning to me. I arrived at church, met my mom in the lobby, got Caroline a donut and orange juice and took her to her class. We went in to begin worship and, as always, the music was AWESOME!! The band played my favorite worship song, Mighty to Save! It is actually one of my ring back tones on my cell phone. I, of course, shed more tears. My church always plays neat skits and today was no different. They had a very cute Valentine's skit on the screen and everyone was laughing. The band began to play again and as I heard the song, that lump in my throat appeared, my mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and the tears began to flow freely from my eyes. They began to sing, All My Lovin', by the Beatles. You ask, why would that make you cry. Well....Skip and Carter are HUGE Beatles fans. Skip and Carter's Memaw (my mother-in-law) sang this song to Carter almost EVERY DAY when he was sick. We still sing this song almost every day at my house. It is now one of Caroline's favorites and I will hear her singing it while she is playing. Skip sings it to Caroline and sometimes we all sing it. As I listened to the song, I knew he was there. I knew he was letting me know that he was okay (he probably has more chocolate and candy than we could ever dream of)...it was like he was saying, "Cheer up, Mom! This place is glorious and I am happier than ever. I am singing with the angels and you, Mom, will be here before you know it"!!! Although tears have still fallen since I left church, I feel peace. I feel more peace today than I have in some time. I am so thankful that I felt Carter's presence at church today. I love my church and it warms my heart to know he is there!!!!!

Thank you my sweet boy for assuring your Mommy that you are okay. I love you and miss you more than any words could ever express. You are forever in my heart!!!! I LOVE YOU, CARTER-MAN!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Below you will find an email that was sent out by a friend of mine who is organizing walkers and runners for the Race for Hope in DC on May 2nd. Although you get a t-shirt for registering, I will be working on getting Carter's Crusaders t-shirts or buttons for everyone walking or running for Carter! I hope to see a HUGE turnout!!! If you have any questions, please email me at courtieharris2@gmail.com

Dear Friends and Family,

On Sunday, May 2, 2010, I will be participating in the Race for Hope - DC 5K Run/Walk presented by Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers. The Race for Hope - DC is sure to be both a fun and inspirational event, and supports the National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. I have formed a team to help with the fundraising effort. Will you join it?

My immediate family(including Halle in the childrens race) will be joining me in this walk/run. As some of you know, we lost a dear friend of ours this last month to this horrible disease. Carter Harris was only 6 years old and Halle considered him a close friend, and was very upset with his passing. Because of Carter, we are now familiar with this disease and it's effects on family and friends. That is why I have decided to use the name Carter's Crusaders(with the support of the Harris family) for our team name.

Our goal this year is to raise $2 million for brain tumor research and support services for brain tumor patients and caregivers. We need your help, so please either join my team or make a donation on my behalf. The links are provided below.

Please note that the deadline for online registration is Tuesday, April 27 at 12 noon.

Thank you so much for all of your support and I hope to see you at the Race for Hope- DC!

Click here to visit my personal page.
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

Click here to view the team page for Carter's Crusaders
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

Click here to view the company page for Carter's Crusaders
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

If you no longer wish to receive email messages sent from your friends on behalf of this organization, please click here or paste this URL into your browser: http://www.braintumorcommunity.org/site/TellFriendOpt?action=optout&toe=7e33c61a9b70ab22937be25650980ba63de7adeb4b3cbee5c157793613dbaef5

Race for Hope - DC
Presented by Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers
Freedom Plaza - May 2, 2010
To Benefit National Brain Tumor Society &
Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure

Skip and I are so thankful for Kathy Uchytil for doing this! Her daughter, Halle, was in Carter's Kindergarten class and they became very close!!!! Hat off to you, Kathy!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I want to first apologize for not updating sooner but as you all can imagine life has been crazy over the last almost 2 months. I did want to take time to just briefly update. First of all, CAN YOU BELIEVE ALL OF THIS SNOW???? My family loves it!! I am assuming you have all read the post from Kyle B. on December 18 (the day we laid Carter to rest) regarding the snow. Well, we still believe that our Carter-Man is sending us signs that he is happy and okay. In our area, we are about to break all records for the most amount of snow in a season...HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!! My sweet boy has always been determined and that has not changed apparently. We are enjoying the snow and our time at home together. We have spent a lot of time reflecting and sharing memories of sweet Carter-Man...oh, the memories. That is what keeps us going. On the way home tonight, Alexis and Caroline were in the back seat and we all had thanked Carter-Man for the snow. Alexis then asked if she could say a prayer and ,of course, we said absolutely. Skip and I could not hold back the tears as she prayed and told him how much we loved and missed him and how we tried so hard to make him better but that we knew he was still alive in the arms of God. It was the most touching thing I have heard. Alexis is Carter's oldest friend. They spent the first 2 years of their lives together, as Ashley and I were pregnant at the same time and we did everything together!! Then they went to preschool together at ages 3 and 4. They went to different schools when they entered Kindergarten but their friendship continued and they treasured the time they spent together. Tonight was the first time (other than a sentence here and there) that Alexis has really talked to us about Carter. We cried for a moment and then composed ourselves and at the request of Caroline and Alexis, we jammed to Miley Cyrus!!!! It was a wonderful day and evening! I must tell you that we miss him terribly. With each day, it seems to get more difficult. The reality sets in that he is not here with us, that we are not able to hold him or hear him. Don't get me wrong, we do have good days. But then the grief sets in again and we feel as if our hearts have been hit by a mack truck! We try and stay strong and move ahead. We will never be the same, some of our relationships will never be the same but we continue to trudge along and be there for Caroline. She needs us now more than ever. She had her first counseling session with our Chilren's Pastor and will start Christian Counseling as soon as all this snow leaves us. We encourage her to talk about Carter as much as she wants and she does. We all do! We NEVER want to stop talking about and remembering our sweet boy. He was an amazing child...We miss him terribly!!

Thank you to everyone for their continued love, support, and prayers! You all are amazing! I will update again sooner than later. There are some events coming up that I want to make you all aware of. Time to run now as the girls upstairs are needing my attention!!



Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Month Ago....

One month ago today, our lives changed forever. We lost our precious baby boy to a terrible monster...a monster that we are determined to defeat, to assure that no other family or child has to lose to. As the days go by, we become more aware of the lack of funding and the lack of awareness for DIPG or for that matter, all pediatric cancer. I was talking with a friend the other day regarding Pandora bracelets and she remarked that they even make charms for breast cancer awareness. I did not say anything at the time but I thought, WOW, yet another example of how our children are not getting the attention they need. I checked and sure enough there is no charm for pediatric cancer. Please do not misunderstand, I am thankful that the treatment for breast cancer has come so far and the reason for that is awareness and funding. I have a friend whose mother just reached her 5 year cancer free mark and for that I am thankful!!! I am thankful that there was enough funding and awareness to allow her to reach that mark and allow her to watch her children and grandchildren grow. I have talked to two other women in the last 2 weeks that have beaten breast cancer and again I was thankful and hopeful. Hopeful that one day, the children who are diagnosed with DIPG will not have such a poor prognosis, that their parents can have hope when they leave a pediatric oncologist's office...all because we screamed, we fought, we donated, and we made people aware that this monster DOES exist. It does affect normal, happy, healthy children. It CAN happen to ANYONE!!! One day, I KNOW that we will make a difference but WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET!!! As we start this new year, please consider wearing a gold ribbon, buying a gold ribbon for your car,or just telling someone about Carter's journey. Please donate to The Cure Starts Now (www.thecurestartsnow.org) or The Just One More Day Foundation (www.justonemoreday.org). Even if it is $1.00, IT WILL HELP!! It will help a family just like us and even if it saves just one child's life it is worth it! We are so thankful for all of the donations we have received and are preparing to split a portion of the proceeds between these two foundations!!!

As for how we are doing....as you can imagine, we are hurt and devastated. The void in our life becomes more obvious everyday. Honestly, I feel as if the pain has gotten worse. Our home, which was once packed with people, is now quiet. We miss our Carter-Man more than words could ever express. Unless you have ever lost a child, you could not imagine. It is a pain that hurts to the core. It makes it hard to go to sleep at night and hard to get out of the bed in the morning. When we do rise, we look over and see that sweet face of our precious Caroline and the world seems a little brighter and we rise to prepare for another day of trying to make her happy! She keeps me going. I know that she needs me and that gives me strength. I pray all day long..I pray for strength and continues signs that Carter is okay. Although I know he is just fine, I still feel the need for him to let me know and rest assured he does in more ways than one. He is still with us and he makes sure we know. Thank you sweet boy...we need all of those signs. I must tell you- I finally had Carter's picture added to a website titled, www.icouldbeyourchild.org. I happened to randomly check last Friday to see if it had been put on there and as I scrolled down the page and I saw his precious face on that page, my heart sunk, the tears started to roll, and reality hit me like a ton of bricks. Carter IS one of those children who lost his battle to this monster. It was hard, probably one of the hardest moments yet. I am thankful that Jenny was here to help me through that. It took awhile to compose myself but I managed. It was just so hard for me to grasp the fact that he was not here with me and it still is. Today marked one month since Carter's passing and as I awoke, I cried. I got myself ready, got Caroline ready and headed to take her to school. What I thought would be a day doomed from the start actually turned out to be a very good day. Skip and I were blessed to be able to spend the whole day with Baby Lauren. We had a wonderful day. She was such a joy. She brought us joy. We both feel that there is a part of Carter in her. She has a way about her that tells me that Carter is with her and that gives me peace. She made me laugh all day and made me smile on a day that I thought no smiles were possible. She and Carter always had a very strong bond and now I know why. She still talks about him, referring to him as "Man". She walked around my house today pointing at all of his pictures continuously repeating "Man"! I laughed each time and she would laugh back at me. I know he was here with me today through her! He left a part of him in her and for that I am so very thankful!!!! My house was full today. Caroline and Annabelle played, I laughed at Lauren, Jenny and Barbara kept me company, and we all had dinner. It was truly the day I needed-just what Carter would have wanted- food, friends, family, and laughter!!!
With each day, some things get easier and some get harder. I am not sure what tomorrow will bring but I do know this...I am thankful for my family, my friends, my Sweet Caroline, my church, my pastors and for my Almighty God. I am thankful that I have faith and that I can pray for strength and he can deliver.

I hope that all of you read the Thank you from us in Saturday's paper. If you did not, below is a copy of what was put in the paper!!!

Thanks from the family of Carter Harris

It is very difficult to express in words the gratitude we have in our hearts for each one of you. Every expression of your love has touched our lives is such a loving, meaningful way. We know that God has used all of you as an instrument of comfort and joy to our family. Someone once wrote, "I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed to the top-most steeple. But God declared 'Go down again- I dwell among the people.' " We can indeed rejoice that friends like you have made our burden lighter, as you have dwelt among the people and shared in our pain and sorrow.
Carter loved his friends and family so very much. He treasured every moment spent with all of us. You all made his life that much richer. We know that he is so proud to know that you all have been so supportive to us, his family, whom he loved so very dearly. Due to the overwhelming amount of love and support, we could never begin to write a personal thank you to each person that deserves it. Please accept this as our sincere thank you. May peace and joy be your gift this new year. We love and treasure each and every one of you.

The Family

We Love you all!!!!!!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Articles in The Free Lance Star

Below, We have posted links to all of the articles that have been written about our sweet Carter-Man since his homegoing, including his obituary. We wanted to share them as it means so very much to us that Carter touched so many lives!!!





Thank you to everyone for their continued support!!!


Skip and Courtney


Friends, If you ordered and not received your cookbooks, please call CeCee
or Tom at 786-3593. We will deliver them to you if you live in the area.
If you live out of the area, we will mail them once we have a good address. You can email this to tomsboat@comcast.net If you did not order a cookbook but would like one, please let us know. We did order extras.
Many, many thanks for your heart felt support to our family. Much of the
profits will go towards pediatric brain tumor and cancer research.
Our plan is to keep Carter's Crusaders alive to help in this fight!
Kathryn, CeCee and Tom

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year....A Family Forever Changed

I want to first thank everyone for their amazing support during this most difficult time in our life. I cannot tell you how much it means to us and how much it has truly helped us to begin a new phase of this journey...a phase we have dreaded...a phase that NO parent should ever have to enter...however, he we are, at this phase and we could not enter it nor walk it alone and we are thankful to everyone because we know we are not alone. Skip and I were simply astonished at the visitation night and services for our Carter-Man. The outpouring of love and support and the number of lives that Carter has touched was very evident....more evident than ever. There is no doubt in our minds that Carter entered this life with a purpose and there is no doubt that he served that purpose. I can only hope that in my life I can touch as many lives as my sweet Carter did. Thank you to each and everyone of you for the cards, emails, letters, visits, attendance at services, and oh so much more....this community is amazing and we are proud to be a part of it!!!! We know sometimes some of you just do not know what to say to us and that is okay. I'm Sorry would suffice. Unless you have lost a child, you don't understand and we do not expect you to. We are glad that we have all of you and we know that words are difficult. We are still ourselves...just with a different perspective on life and forever heartbroken.

We have entered a new year as a family forever changed...a smaller family...one that does not feel complete. Since Carter passed on December 14, 2009, I have felt like something is missing, like I am forgetting something. Every time I leave the house, I look back because I feel the void. Skip and I met our dear friends the Beggans at the movies the week of Christmas to keep Caroline busy and get her out of the house. As we were leaving, I felt it and it stung...it stung worse than any bee sting could ever feel. I held back the tears and told myself that I would get through this and that I needed to get through this for Caroline. We had lunch and then went to the movies. During the movies, it was unreal the feelings that Skip and I had. We missed the popcorn mess that always appeared after a few bites of popcorn from the C-Man...he was messy...and we missed it. We missed his backwash into the drink (yes, Mr. Wilcox, he has always done that) and we missed everything about him. Nonetheless, we made it through the movie. As we were leaving, I found myself mentally counting the children as we were leaving (I am famous for this) and after counting two or three times, I realized that the number would never equal to what it should again. Becca and Kyle have 4, we have 2 young children, and we had picked up Alexis on the way. There should have been 7 children with us...I should have counted 7 but I only counted 6. I realized at that moment that I WAS missing something. I was missing my baby and that number would never be correct again. I would always be missing a part of me...a part of us. My heart ached and it took all I had to, again, hold back the tears. This was just the beginning of that feeling and I am sure that there is no end.

Skip and I were lucky to be able to get away after the holidays to join The Thackers and some other dear friends and family at Massanutten. It was much needed and we were able to spend some much needed time with Sweet Caroline. We had a wonderful time but, again, that unimaginable pain (unless you have experienced the loss of a child), hit me like a ton of bricks. We were at the indoor pool and as we were leaving, I again began to mentally count the children and of course, that number did not add up. I again was hit with the reality that Carter was not walking with us. I wanted him there with me. I felt like I was getting angry, something I did not want to happen. I quickly put Caroline into the car and again pulled myself together, holding back the tears. I prayed for strength and I then reminded myself that although I cannot see his face, hold his sweet hand, or hear his contagious laugh, I CAN talk to him and he CAN hear me and I felt peace again...peace that my Carter-Man is very much alive, just not here on earth. He is here with me in spirit and he does go with me everywhere I go. I also reminded myself that I am allowed to be sad and angry and that I forever will feel a void because there is one, a BIG one...my sweet baby boy.

We entered 2010 with dear friends. We entered 2010 as a family...a family forever changed...a family that probably will never feel complete again. We entered 2010 as a stronger family, one with a bond that cannot be broken. This experience has changed us in many ways....some good and some bad. Our hearts will forever be broken...we will always feel that void. The bonds that exist between us are much stronger. We will never take another day for granted..for we were never promised tomorrow and that has become a reality for us. Our faith is stronger than ever....after everything, we feel God's presence more than ever and we know that we could never make it through this without him. We are glad to leave 2009 behind us and start anew. 2009 was a very difficult year from beginning to end for my family....we lost my Papa TJ, Carter was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, we lost my Grandaddy Sale, Lauren caught a virus that caused a severe heart condition, possibly requiring a heart transplant, and our sweet Carter passed away.
BUT WE ARE STRONGER AND CLOSER THAN EVER!!!! We have always been close but the ties that bind are unbreakable..I am thankful to have my family and friends...I am thankful to know that through it all I will always have my family...they are amazing.... I LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!!!!

There is one more thing that I want to share with you all. About 3 minutes before Carter took his last breath here on earth, I looked into his beautiful blue eyes and asked him one thing...please send me a sign to let me know that you are safe and that you are okay. I can reassure you all that Carter-Man is safe and OK. We laid Carter to rest on December 18th and that evening, he blanketed this town with a beautiful snow..the largest snow storm since 1996...the world was not flawed..it was perfect. Carter LOVED the snow but his Daddy loves it more and I truly believe he sent that snow to us. He wanted us to slow down and spend time with family and friends and that we did. He also paid a visit to Aunt Beth and Uncle Chuck's house. Annabelle sat straight up in the bed and asked why Carter was there...Beth said that there was a bright light in the hallway and Chuck confirmed that there was not an overhead light on...he has set up shop to watch over Baby Lauren...he is her guardian angel. As you can imagine, Massanutten was packed this week...Skip was anxiously awaiting a parking space on Tuesday and quickly said "Come on, Carter-Man, help me out here" and wouldn't you know that the BEST parking space in the lot opened right up. On Wednesday ,it happened again, and Carter-Man opened up the same exact spot for Skip, Ashley, and Alex. That afternoon they went into the restaurant for lunch and it was packed. Ashley was waiting for a table...assuming they would have to eat standing and right beside her, a group of 3, got up and left, opening up a table for 3 right in front of her.......coincidence....I think not. Carter-Man is with us and he is looking over all of us. When you look in the sky at night, just look for the brightest star and there he is....just ask Kaelan B.....she saw that star and she knew it was Carter-Man and he was twinkling at her!!!!

We love you Carter-Man and we miss you so much!!!