It is no secret that my dad, Jefferey Lynn Carter, died in August 1989. It’s not a secret because I talk about it often. Experiencing loss at such a young age caused me to reflect much on the topic of death. This tragic event in my life helped me come to some pretty mature understanding of mortality and spiritual well-being at a very early age. Though it was difficult to endure, his death has very much shaped my life in a rather positive way. There are so many things I have learned from this single part of my life. Of course, I didn’t sleep for the first year or two after he died and I had lots of fear surrounding anything or anyone who was “sick”… but eventually, through a very patient mother, counseling, and the gift of prayer, I overcame those fears and I think I’ve become a pretty well-balanced adult…
I was born in Memphis, TN on a Wednesday evening. Other than my mom cleaning the house and doing laundry, my arrival was pretty uneventful even though my baby book has a picture of me, just moments after birth, with the caption “Prize fighter”. I was the third child born to Jeff & Jenny Carter. I had an older brother Ben and an older sister Jill. We were pretty close in age and my mom definitely had her hands full.
My father was diagnosed with Epilepsy while my mom was pregnant with me (1981-ish). The Epilepsy started small but progressively developed over the years. I was young enough not to remember too much about what was going on as well as the hardship it was for both my father and mother. I did know that he was “sick” but I don’t think I ever realized how sick he was. I do know that when I was about 4-ish, he got better enough for them to have my little sister Terri and 21 months later my little brother Ty snuck in there. That’s when my dad started to get really bad. He had a few major surgeries in an attempt to correct the seizures. After the last surgery he never recovered. After he died, they found that he had a rare form of cancer that lined his brain.
We stayed in Memphis for about a year after Dad died. At first, my mom and us 5 kids were embraced and supported by our community but soon it became hard for my mom because her story seemed to be “too sad” for others. So she made the difficult decision of moving us across the country to Bakersfield, CA where her family lived.
As difficult as that was, It was a great choice for our family.
Have you ever had to move across state lines? What was that like for you?
Hi I'm Cindi! When I'm not chasing after kids or dogs... oh wait, that never happens!