Events in 2018

Join us!

April 18, 2018 – what would have been Carrie’s golden birthday (18 on the 18th). We ate tacos with lots of cheese and her favorite cupcakes and then released 18 red balloons on this day.

April 21, 2018 – Out of the Darkness Campus Walk at Baylor University, Waco, TX – Our very own James coordinated with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (the national organization) and the Active Minds chapter at Baylor, as well as other staff members at Baylor to host an “Out of the Darkness” walk on campus. This event will raise awareness about suicide and help others with mental health concerns know they are not alone and that there is HOPE!

June 2-3, 2018 – Larry and I will be doing The Overnight Out of the Darkness Walk in Dallas. Each year the AFSP has 2 Overnight walks in rotating cities that last from about 7pm – 5am (17 miles). It is a very moving event and we are fortunate to be a part of it this year. We finished at 3:02 a.m.

September 10, 2018 – Worldwide (anywhere you are!) – September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day each year. This is the day that Larry and I have chosen to be our own call to action day where we will solicit donations to the Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund (find link on this page). We plan to do this each year in conjunction with a Red Balloon release. Like our Family Day at the Lake 2017, we will be encouraging friends across the country to participate in releasing red balloons for Carrie on this day. We believe helping others find Hope is what Carrie would want us to do. All donations to the Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

September 29, 2018Austin, TX – This is the day of the NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) walk in Austin. Because it all starts with helping those with Mental Illness. In 2015 I took a class by NAMI which was very informative and helpful. At the time I was too overwhelmed to think about advocacy…still am, but I want to support them too.  Here is a link to join my Carrying on for Carrie team: team:

September 29, 2018 – Waco, TX –  Yes! Same day!  I am also going to the Waco Out of the Darkness walk in the evening on this day. Because I can’t do much, but I CAN walk!  Again, I believe raising awareness about mental health issues will reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and more people will get the help they need. Here is a link to join my Carrying on for Carrie team:

October 26, 2018 – Austin / Waco, TX – Low key plans to be determined to mark the first “angelversary”.

November 10, 2018 – Austin, TX – This is the Austin Out of the Darkness Walk day. It will be held at the Capitol beginning at 10am. I have created a team in the hopes that others will join us. It is called “Carrying on for Carrie.” This should be about a 3 mile walk during the day! It is free to register and join us. Here is a link to sign up:

We want to help all those suffering from mental illness realize what God has promised: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. This Bible verse was still hanging in Carrie’s dorm room on 10/26/17.


Music Therapy

Something that has helped me immensely in my grief journey has been praise music. I have been feeling the need to share some of the songs that have helped me along the way. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s for you! Each of these songs has served as my theme song at some point. The first song is an older one but I heard it on my way to therapy that first week and thought it really fit Carrie – I substitute “Carrie was more” when I sing it: “You are More” by Tenth Avenue North. It gets me every time. The next song that I needed to hear many times daily was “The Sweetest Gift” by The Piano Guys. One of Carrie’s friends shared this Christmas song with me right after Thanksgiving.  Grab some tissues before turning that on or reading the story behind the song. I then latched on to Mercy Me’s “Even If” and btw, I can really belt that one out! To draw nearer to God and rely on His strength during tough times is very empowering. Next, Matthew West’s “Do Something” became my song. That is really motivational and I love it! “Fear is a Liar” by Zach Williams is speaking to me now but it’s so sad. I wish Carrie had heard that song and understood it. Other songs that have touched me during this time are:

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (the old hymn or Chris Tomlin’s version),
Matthew West’s “Strong Enough,”
Jonny Diaz’s “Breathe,”
Danny Gokey’s “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again,”

MercyMe’s “Greater,”
Casting Crowns’ “Thrive,”

Matthew West’s “Grace Wins,” and
MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine.” I often wonder what Carrie is seeing and feeling in Heaven these days. (I hope you saw the movie too – really good).  

I’m probably forgetting some other excellent songs that spoke to me, but I hope these might help someone. “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” Psalm 95:1.  #ForeverMyChild ❤️ 🎈#stopsuicide #800273TALK #CarryingOnForCarrie #musictherapy #myHopeisinHim