Carter works in the service industry and attends college. His smile lights up a room and I just assumed his manners came from a great upbringing. He is marrying his lovely girlfriend in a few weeks and was excited to share about their honeymoon plans and the fact that she had already been offered her first teaching job in the Fall.

“It’s the same school where my 2 younger siblings attend, so it will work out great to be on the same schedule and they can all come home together.”

I gave Carter a quizzical look. He realized I did not know some very important details of his life.

Here is his story:

Carter is raising two of his younger siblings who are both in elementary school. Their Mother is addicted to drugs and isn’t capable of raising her children. Carter fixed up his Granny’s old house and moved in with the children and a 19 year old sister. It took a lot of sweat and hard work but now the house is really a home. Carter belongs to a church that is like his extended family. It’s filled with mountain folk with big hearts and a willingness to lend a hand when needed. No one is judgmental about Carter’s circumstances choosing instead to support his decision to keep the family together.

Helene is Carter’s girlfriend. They’ve been dating since they were teenagers. They don’t live together because as devout Christians they are waiting until marriage. Helene accepts that married life will include living with all of Carter’s siblings. She loves the two young ones and is best friends with his teenage sister.

Carter thinks he is the luckiest guy in the world. He is excited to be getting married to Helene and having the type of life partner his Mother never had. He isn’t angry with his Mother …just sad for her.

“Our Mother missed out on so much with her terrible drug addiction. She deserved better out of life. I pray for her every day.”

A member of the church has made Carter an incredible offer. She wants this young man to take over her business when she retires. She thinks he has the potential to be very successful in life.

I believe he already is.

  • Names have been changed.



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