Carrie's Page | Mother's Day | Cara's Graduation Party | My Journey | '99-'00 Holidays | Botho Alexander Burchardt
Carrie Burchardt-Pharr ~ May 23, 1950 - April 23, 2001
For information on making a contribution in Carrie's memory, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

My Pledge

While there is breath
still left in my body
I will live with
dignity and courage,
love and compassion,
truth and strength,
laughter and joy,
as I am able.
I will glean
every bit of living
and beauty and wonder
there is to be had
in a day.
I will strive to let go of
bitterness, anger
and self-pity,
remembering both
the miracle
and unfairness
that is life.
I will dwell on the many gifts
that have been mine
in my years
on this planet.

While there is breath
still left in my body
I will fiercely
continue to be
a mother,
a wife,
a relative,
and a friend,
fulfilling these
joyful roles
as best as I am able,
giving as much as I can
and receiving kindness
with grace.
I will also
continue to be
a teacher,
and a counselor,
only the scope
of my subject
has expanded
to the universe.
I will treasure
the wisdom
I have gained,
and the dear friendships
I have made
on this journey.

While there is breath
still left in my body
I will humbly and
accept the help I need
from others,
remembering that
they have needs too.
I will allow myself
to be human,
to weep and to grieve
for my losses,
to feel despair, hopelessness,
and terror,
I will rise above them,
While there is breath
still left in my body.

Carrie Burchardt-Pharr
July 19,1999

Mother's Day

Carrie Burchardt-Pharr

Devin achieves Life Scout Rank

We've learned how to keep our shells on in our family. It's what we don't say, what we are silent about that stands out. Will this be the last Mother's Day? If it's not, what shape will I be in next year? These are my private thoughts -- I don't know what anyone else's are. I've learned to carry on even cheerily, although quite quietly, to be socially appropriate when my mind is far away. Dan, my friend Landra and I are walking across Washington Park amidst the fair booths and spring flowers. My sweet children who have come in a separate car come running up to me with a gift of earrings they have just bought for me. Cara knows that I know that she knows in a short time she will have these earrings. But we pretend it's like any other Mother's Day. I'm thinking all day long how happy I would have been with this day, with my children, my friend, and my husband if I knew I had a future with them.

Dan & Carrie

After dinner, we take pictures outside the restaurant - just like we always have done for all Mother's Days. It's what we don't say that stands out. Of all of us, Devin is most able to live in the moment. Cara's way of coping with this, I know, is to feel lucky about how perfect her life was so far, and to rationalize that some clouds have to come into it. I look at my children's faces and I see beauty, strength, and wisdom beyond their years. They will have to carry on without me. It feels like baby birds who have left the nest too soon. I am fearful they will not know how to fly without me, but I know they do, and I know their father will take care of them. I don't know what Dan is thinking, because he is not telling me. But he gives me a card that closes, "Always and ever I'll love you like crazy." I'm thinking, "How did he find a card that said the perfect thing?" That night, I write him an e-mail at work, so he will get it the next day, thanking him for a wonderful day.

And when I go to sleep, I feel content that my family has another good memory of me to have with them always.

May 10,1999

Anne Pharr

My Two Moms

Nellie Burchardt

Contributions in Carrie's memory can be directed to...

The Albany Medical Center Cancer Resource Center
47 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
(518)AMC-HOPE (262-4673)
T.H.E. Brain Trust
186 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Carrie's Page | Mother's Day | Cara's Graduation Party | My Journey | '99-'00 Holidays | Botho Alexander Burchardt