Justin’s 25th birthday A tribute of love

There are life-changing, life-altering, and life-ending events— it just so happened that we were there for all


Giving birth to Justin Carr World-Peace

was a glorious moment in time— which I will never forget. Darrell Carr either. This morning on his 25th bday I lay paralyzed in my thoughts — thinking about my most precious son who died at 16, barely being a young man.

Justin loved celebrating his birthdays. He had so many themes for his special day. He prayed for world peace on his 4th bday.

Justin’s 4th Bday

Justin lived, loved, and laughed often. He had hopes and dreams. He truly loved his family and friends. He loved helping, creating, singing, acting, and being. He had courage, compassion, commitment, community, and knew how to resolve conflicts.

He coined a poem saying he had dreams, goals, promise— opportunity.

On his first day of life, he held my finger tight. The night before he died, he told me he would take care of Darrell and me when we got old. We often think about who will take care of us now and in the days and years to come?

Darrell and I will hold each other’s hands and those in our village of people, his friends, our friends, strangers who walk with us and who love us and miss Justin too.

These are the gifts we cherish as we remember, miss, cry and smile for Justin.

I will hold on to Justin’s Memories Tight! I will stop and wonder at butterflies, too- like the one that rested in my palm in Costa Rica. He has taught his Mom his OTTO, “Over the Top Olivia,” Sooooo many things.

I am honored to be Justin’s Mom.

Happy Birthday, Honey! I miss you always and will love you forever!!


Fruits of their Labor

I rarely take the time to go outside and smell the roses. On the other hand, Darrell spends hours a week outside watering his garden, chasing butterflies with his camera, repotting his plants, and just moving stuff around. You know we have bears in our neighborhood. Just two doors up, our friends post pictures almost weekly of the “BearbNd “who sleeps nightly on the side of their house and sometimes into the midday hours seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!

So, I have been staying inside!! Today I decided to sit quietly with Darrell before the bears came. I watched the hummingbirds sip nectar from the flowers. I listened to the neighborhood kids at play, gazed at the graceful butterflies in flight, looked at the rusted basketball hoop, Justin’s old GI Joe camouflage truck blending in the distant bushes, and then I saw the tree.

The peach tree with peaches ripe and ready to eat. Suddenly, it was reflection time. Years ago, when we moved here, there was a beautiful crape myrtle tree adorning the planter just outside the window. However, it was attracting way too many bees.

The Crape Myrtle

One day, when Darrell was working, and Justin was watching from the truck, he said: “Dad, we need to plant some food, trees that bear fruit so we can always have food and never go hungry.” So together, they dug up the old tree and planted lemon and peach trees in its place.

So, years later, we now have strawberries. Lemon, peach trees, and so many flowers and plants and ornamental butterflies that our friends gift us to attack butterflies.

Darrell’s garden is home to the birds, bees, flowers, and trees as the sun shines, and the moon lights us and watches us from on high in their natural glory. And the trees are much taller and broader by far than they were a few years ago. They have grown and stretched out like arms closing in for a big hug.



Today, I tried a recipe I found, “Peach Cobbler Cookies,” paying homage

to Darrell and Justin with their fruit from their labor and love.

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/peach-cobbler-cookies/ Recipe for Cookies

Darrell and Justin did most of the yard’s rock work, and Darrell made the metal arches and took these pictures today. Home is what you make it…

PHOTOS BY Darrell Carr