Written on 6.30.16
in loving memory of
Carter Joseph Boerboom
5.16.01 – 6.30.15
Walking outside early this morning I was immediately struck by the picture in the sky. The clouds were the “storybook” kind. They looked amazing in the sky –and this was even before my cup of coffee! Anyone who knows me well probably had a chuckle with that previous line as I am the kind of person who walks around rattling off the technical names of clouds for the pure enjoyment of it…and here it’s “storybook.” Okay – read on then…
I thought about the clouds while on the walk with Stella, our family St. Bernard this morning. Highway traffic was buzzing from afar, birds were chirping, and the tall grasses were rustling. Life was happening all around. I recalled that it was Carter’s angelversary – one year since he passed away and became cancer-free. Wait. How can it be a year already? That can’t be right. He was just here smiling, laughing, joking, and ballin’ it up on the court. Well, now that I think of it – Carter never met Stella. She is a year old now and has been a part of the family since last August. But they haven’t met. Wow. Time just flies by and life continues on…but we still miss and mourn and celebrate Carter’s life. It’s okay to still do that, right? It’s okay to laugh and cry and live – even when it still hurts. The hurt doesn’t go away, but it changes. I knew that I wanted to write a blog post, but I didn’t know if I had the words to express all the different emotions that are felt by each of Carter’s family members and friends. It reminded me of writing the eulogy last year at this time; it was also a Thursday early morning with the sun just peeking up over the horizon. I didn’t know where to begin and if the words would come to me then either…and then they did because they came from all of you.
There are signs all around us if we know to pause to look and listen for them.
Today a pair of #carterstrong-inspired, customized shoes arrived… two weeks earlier than anticipated. The fedex driver needed us to sign for them, and we were actually home to do just that, which is somewhat amazing in itself. This may not seem like a big deal or explicit sign, but believe me, it was.
I found the dragonfly garden ornament that I couldn’t find to put out this year. This week… on Tuesday, which is the day of the week that Carter passed away. The chaplin shared the story of the dragonfly with us in the hospital room just after Carter left this world.
There was a guest author, Nora McInerny Purmort, on MPR on 6.29.16 talking about her life experience of living through death. She took her grief and love and wrote a novel, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too). The interview was incredible and real and timely. I actually paused from my task and was amazed by all the things Nora was saying; I totally “got it.”
I received an email from a friend and colleague. It was about grief and living and being okay. Thank you. The timing was perfect, and helped me process and compose.
The list goes on…
So what do I really want to say about Carter and memories of him?
I think it is said best here…
I didn’t die today. I lived until today! ~Carter’s Dad, Wade (posted 6.30.15)
Carter’s been cancer free for a year – maybe not in the conventional way; but his spirit lives on, his story lives on, and I truly believe each and everyone of us carries him in our hearts every day. Thank you to everyone who’s showed my family support these last few years. We remain #carterstrongforever ~Katie
1 year. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525,600 minutes since you grew your wings. We miss you all the time. There isn’t a second that goes by that you aren’t on our minds. You’re forever in our hearts. 14 years old was just too young. We love you bud from the siblings. #carterstrong #angelversery #cancersucks 5/16/01-6/30-15 ~Belle
One year ago, you earned your wings as an angel in heaven, and I thank my lucky stars that you were a part of my life. You fought a good fight with strength and perseverance like I’ve never seen. Your smile and your laugh are something I could never forget even if I tried, including your Chewbacca impressions and your critiquing of my basketball skills, or lack thereof…Miss you everyday Carter… We all miss you…~Cody
And maybe someday I’ll see you again
We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end
And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Life is about living and loving. Even as the world continues to spin, Carter will not be forgotten and continues to be loved.
Laugh. Love. Mourn. Love. Live. Love. Repeat as needed.