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Cara's 30th Birthday- 5 years to Thirty

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S: Cara's 30th Birthday by Crystal Cartwright

FC: Five Years to Thirty ... a Sisters trip down Memory Lane

1: Table of Contents: 2006-2007: A New Friend 2008: Free Dessert, Gospel Choir & Graduation 2009: Comps, Motorcycles & Growth 2010: Saying Goodbye & New Beginnings 2011: The conclusion of a Five Year Journey | To Everything there is a Season and a time to every purpose under the Heavens...

2: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11 | "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 | "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3 | "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 | "And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them." Deuteronomy 28:13 | "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1Peter 2:9 | I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 | "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10 | Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it nothing is impossible. Mary McLeod Bethune

3: ...like the Corners of my mind | To My Sister & Friend Cara Elizabeth Cox Coleman The Bible says,"He that would have friends, must first show himself friendly" and that a "Friend Loveth at all times." From the moment we met in Gospel Choir, I knew that the God had sent the other "Black Soprano" to be my sister & friend. As I think about our sisterhood, so many memories come to mind. All the laughter, jokes, texts messages, occasional tears, meaningful conversations, birthdays, trips, food and prayers have come to play an irreplaceable part in my life. 5 years is such a short time in the span of a life, but at the same time it feels like a lifetime. Because when God ordains for people to become apart of our lives and families the connection is instantaneous. Cara, as your 30th birthday approached, I kept thinking about what I could get you and then I began to think of the 5 birthdays I've shared with you. From those memories came the inspiration to put together this book. I always say, "We should write a book." Memories are so precious and sustain people through the good and hard times. | Your life has entered a new phase and as we both grow, life will definitely call us on journeys that we won't always get to share together. But what will sustain us is our faith in God, true sisterhood, and the memories we have made and will continue to make. So as we grow, change, and anticipate the future, here is a small "glimpse" into the 5 years, 1,825 days, and 61,320 minutes we had the privilege of sharing our journeys! "Happy 30thBirthday Bear" With all my love, Crystal Marie

4: I've always been a Birthday Girl! In my opinion, Birthdays are that one day a year, when the world stops to celebrate You! I just couldn't imagine who wouldn't love birthdays And then I met ... "Cara" my new friend who didn't exactly buy into my birthday hype. She didn't count down the days to her birthday, she wasn't big on birthday presents, and most importantly, she Hated surprise Birthday Parties! | So you can imagine how close I came to a "Nervous Breakdown" when after 5 months and 8 days of friendship, February 8, 2007 decided to roll around! I just had to find a way to celebrate Cara's birthday without Cara actually knowing we were celebrating....he he

5: ...Dinner at the Olive Garden ..."Yuck" | This particular birthday, Cara wasn't in the mood to celebrate. Sister had a lot going on. If given the option, she probably would have just stayed home. But, I was determined to make the day special in some way. So, Erin, Cara and I headed to the Olive Garden, Cara's Choice and my treat to her. In total honesty, dinner was a bit awkward and I felt terrible because even though Cara tried she had too much on her mind to have fun. | 8, 2007

6: Happy 25th Birthday Cara! So, the birthday dinner wasn't a success...What can I say, some years birthdays just have Bad timing ... TRUE STORY | Something Worth Remembering... Even thought the dinner was an Epic Failure... that night before Cara left my apartment, she read my card, gave me the biggest hug and said, "Thanks for trying to make my day special, Buddy!" | The Olive Garden isn't Real Italian Food... No matter what Cara Says!

7: Facts from 2006/2007 1. I met Cara in Gospel choir she was the only other black soprano 2.Heather, Cara, Erin and I secretly referred to ourselves as Timone, Pumba, Zazu & Nala all because of a certain crush I had on a guy with dreadlocks who they referred to as, Mufasa...Epic Fail in my taste in men! 3. Cara and I almost died in a winter storm on our way to a Christmas concert. 4.Cara tried to teach me how to drive stick shift it wasn't a natural fit 5.I couldn't remember Cara’s name for the first few weeks I knew her so I kept saying, “HEY GIRL.” 6. Cara endured my obsession with Dreamgirls the motion picture and soundtrack. 7.Cara worked 3rd Shift at “Little Friends” so we would text late at night while I did homework & she tried to stay at awake at work. | 8.Every Wednesday we had omelets at Saga and we usually got crispy chicken Caesar salads and seasoned fries at the Stupe, late at night. 9.Erin had a melt down at the Gospel Choir concert so did I, come to think of it...SMH...thank God Cara was there. 10.Cara basically lived at my first apartment on College Ave. 11. Cara contributed to my roommates groceries by always providing us with Sprite and Pillsbury break and bake chocolate chip cookies. 12. "McNasty" was our choir director at a Gospel Choir seminar; after the foolishness of that seminar; Cara and I were friends forever! 13. Cara could always be found in the reading room by the fireplace in the Beamer Center. 14. I used to sneak Cara huge Deli Sandwiches from the cafeteria because she didn't have a meal plan. | 15. Cara drove around the block and left me at Blockbuster...I was beyond UPSET! 16.Cara had a thing for playing detective and learning about peoples lives ...I will NEVER forget the "Tell me the most significant thing that has happened in your life" conversation! 17. Cara and "SHEMAR" became my personal chauffeur on campus and for errands....you could hear SHEMAR coming from up the street. 18. Heather graduated. 19. I became known as Cara's undergraduate friend amongst her graduate student friends. 20. I truly gained a Sister!

8: By the time February 8, 2008 began to approach, I was determined to get Cara's birthday right that year. And I believed that Cara needed a little reminder of how much her friends and family cared about her. So began "Operation Birthday Weekend!" Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought Cara's Anti Birthday sentiments were crazy. After numerous inquires about her birthday plans from her friends at the graduate school, and gentle prodding from me, Cara consented to let me plan something. But under NO Circumstances was this to be called a party...at least that''s what she thought .... he he | Once I was given the "Green Light " to plan Cara's birthday, I put all of my energy into planning a birthday weekend she wouldn't forget! Checklist: February 8-10, 2008 Friday Night: Reservations at Wildfire Saturday Night: Tickets to "Incidents in the life of a Slave girl" at Steppenwolf Theater downtown Chicago, Il Sunday: Church, lunch (Cara's choice) a movie, and purchase Alvin Ailey tickets for April 2008 EMAIL Invites to Cara's dinner at Wildfire... ASAP

9: Subject: Cara Coleman's Birthday Dinner...Inboxx 2/3/08 Hello All, My name is Crystal Cartwright. I am a student at Wheaton and a friend of Cara's. I am writing because your classmate Cara Coleman has a birthday on this coming Friday and I would like to extend an invitation for her "beloved" classmates to join us for dinner. We will be having dinner on Friday night at 7:00pm at the Wildfire Restaurant at Oakbrook Mall. I need to know if you plan to attend by no later than Monday evening so I can make reservations. Please email me @ crystal.cartwright@my.wheaton.edu or call me at 224-538-0607 if you plan to attend. Thank You, Crystal | Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 23:38:57 - From: "Amy Keller" Subject: Re: Cara Coleman's Birthday Dinner Crystal, Yea for Cara! Katie, Carrick, Kendra, and I will be there. (Carrick and I may have to just stop by for several minutes as we have previously existing plans.) Thanks for the invite!! Amy | Erica Lehman eelehman07@gmail.com 2/3/08 to me Crystal, I will not be able to come on Friday, but I will be there in spirit. Cara is an amazing woman and deserves a fabulous celebration. Thanks for throwing her a little shindig! Have a great time. Erica | Wildfire:Steaks,Chops & Seafood 232 Oakbrook Center Oak Brook, IL 60523 (630) 586-9000 Reservations at 8pm | Brittany.A.Mershon@wheaton.edu 2/4/08 to me Hey Crystal! I would love to come on Friday! I often work until 6:30 in Geneva, so I might be later than 7 in getting to Oak Brook, but I will be there. Thank you for setting this up! Brittany

10: Cartwright wrote: Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 14:17:36 -0800 (PST) From: Cartwright Subject: Happy Birthday!!!! To: carae.coleman@gmail.com Dearest Cara, Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever; for they are the rejoicing of My heart. Ps. 119:111 This is my prayer for you on this day to remember that the Lord knew you before you were born and has given you an expected end and a future. I do pray that the memories you have with your mother will be sweetened by the fact that she would be so proud of you. You are a sincere and lovely young woman but most of all you are Saved and serving the Lord. Know mother could ask or want for more. The scripture says I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. As a mother I can assure you that this gift of faith in our children is the greatest gift a child can give to their parent. I pray that this year will also be one of growth in your sister hood with Crystal, that you will become prayer partners in a greater since. Enjoy your day, take in every minute, and don't be shy with excitement about this special day, because this is the day so many years ago a beautiful baby girl was born. The hours will go fast today, breath every moment and give thanks to the Lord, for truly He loves you and so do many others whose life you have touched. I pray that you have a wonderful birthday. It will probably not be on the level of my 50Th Jubilee celebration, but you do have something to look forward to. LOL (Did I say that right?) I have no birthday cake today but if you let us know your favorite we can share some when we see you again. I have attached a few photos from my birthday. It was the big one you know. Bless you, Bless you, Bless you Love Mrs. Nicole Cartwright | 8, 2008 | A Birthday Email to Cara

11: “Dinner at Wildfire” When it came to planning Cara’s Birthday dinner, I wanted to pick a place she had never been and one that had a great atmosphere and quality food and service. So Wildfire was the obvious choice. The only problem was that on a Friday evening, it is almost impossible to reserve tables for a large party. The total number of confirmed guests attending dinner was eighteen. To my dismay, but not my surprise, Wildfire was booked and could not accommodate my request. But if anyone knows me, they know that the word NO and I just do not get along, especially when it interferes with my plans for someone else. So what did I do? I did what any determined woman would do; I called the manager at Wildfire. I basically explained to Scott (the manager) that my family regularly gave business to Wildfire and that we used his establishment for several dinners and parties. I explained that my sister (Cara) was celebrating her 26th birthday and that after the great reviews she heard about Wildfire, she was anxious to come to the restaurant. I apologized for making a reservation at the last minute, and told him I understood if he could not fulfill my request. But to my delight, Scott told me with these exact words, “Ms. Cartwright, we will make this happen for your sister's birthday. We will see you at 7pm!” My mother taught me two things that have always stayed with me, the “Power of Negotiation” and the “Grace” of saying, “Thank you.” With these lessons in mind, I drafted a "thank you" letter to Scott to thank him for fulfilling my reservation request and I brought the letter to dinner so I could personally give it to him.

12: "Happy 26th Birthday Cara" | The Grace of "Thank You” When our party arrived at Wildfire, Scott was busy, so I asked the hostess to personally deliver my letter to his office and to let him know that if he had a free moment, I would like to speak with him. An hour later, while we were enjoying our dinner; Scott dropped by our table. To my surprise, he was moved by the fact that I wrote him a “Thank you” letter and to show his gratitude for the letter, he gave our party over “One hundred dollars” worth of desserts on the house! We had so many desserts; we could not eat them all! Needless to say, Cara’s birthday dinner was a bigger success than I had anticipated. That evening I remember receiving a text message from Cara that said, “I have no words, thank you for everything.” That text message was followed by an email the next morning...

14: Harriet Jacobs Steppenwolf Theatre 1650 N. Halsted Chicago In her book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs describes with brutal honesty the hardships she endures under slavery, including the extraordinary choices she makes to be near her children. To survive, she escapes into her imagination and through writing, discovers hope for a better life. Accompanied by the rich musical traditions of slave spirituals, Harriet Jacobs is an inspiring look at a young woman's fascinating journey from slavery to freedom. | Cara Coleman< cara.e.coleman@gmail.com > Date: February 9 2008 Subject: Birthday To:crystal.cartwright@my.wheaton.edu Well Sis, I don't really know what to say to you, except Thank you! You made my birthday extra special. It has probably been 4 or 5 years since someone (Tamika to be exact) made such a big deal about me and my birthday. Even though I put up a fight...I really do appreciate all of your care and love. I don't feel like I do a good job of showing it, but I know and appreciate how much you love and care about me. So...you are truly an amazing young woman of God, and I don't know anyone else who could have pulled off what you did last night. Your generosity and sincerity paid off. So again, thank you for who you are and being in my life. I love you more than you know. Hugs, Cara | An Email Cara sent me after dinner at “Wildfire” | Going to see “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” | Things to Remember from Cara’s Birthday Weekend Chocolate brownie with Ice cream Turning up the music sooo loud in Shemar while driving downtown Chicago Random photos: Cara striking a runner's pose The satisfaction of seeing my Sister really happy on her birthday!

16: The beginning of 2008 may have been one of the busiest years in our friendship. But I would not have had it any other way, because I knew in 5 short months, life was going to bring a change to our shared journeys... | Wheaton 2008 in a Nutshell To Everything there is a Season...

17: From lunch dates at Saga to assignments and discussions with her cohort to songs of worship at Gospel Choir Rehearsal to dancing on tables to always being a listening ear Cara definitely made her mark on Wheaton College in 2008

18: For Christ and His Kingdom... | Wheaton College's Psy.D. Banquet 2008 2nd year

19: Saturday, May10, 2008 "Graduation" Cara Elizabeth Cox Coleman M.A. Clinical Psychology

20: As 2008 drew to close and 2009 was on the horizon, God was preparing Cara and I for the plans he had for our lives and our sisterhood. In 2008: I struggled with and adjusted to the harsh Reality of "Life After College" which included, NO Money, Endless Job and Graduate School applications, the GRE, Many "REJECTION" letters, and living over an hour away from my friend! Cara endured the studying, frustration, disappointment and eventual success of "COMPS" I visited Kansas City for the first time and officially met "All" of the special people Cara had been talking about for the past two years. Cara spent Thanksgiving with my family (It was Nana's last Thanksgiving) Through tears, frustration, worry and undeniable faith and confidence in Gods call for her life, Cara patiently waited on God as he worked out all of the details for her acceptance and calling into the ARMY. Cara made the commute to North Chicago to pick me up or hang for the weekend pretty much EVERY weekend... Her poor car, my gas money did not make up for how much she drove up...that would continue until I got my own car...the following year!!! | Cara's "Birthday Wish" came early in 2009... And it came in the form of two words "Army Strong" It was official, Cara was now 2LT Coleman. Perseverance paid off and God showed yet again, that he had a plan and that he is Sovereign! What inspired me most about Cara's transition from civilian to officer, was all she had to overcome to get to that point. It's nice when things work out perfectly in your favor. But things take on a whole other meaning and importance, when you have to go through something to achieve them. When you feel like there is no way out, and you have to believe God will work on your behalf. All the prayers, questions, conversations, and waiting made so much sense when Cara forwarded me the email from Captain Rakow and I saw her commissioning photos. God indeed had a plan, and he had been preparing her for it. Often, I thank God for allowing me to witness and testify to the purpose God has for my sisters life. "Promotion truly is of the Lord!" The only question that remained then was, "What could Cara possibly want for her upcoming birthday now?"

21: Fwd: [U] “ Commissioning Photos” Inboxx Cara Coleman cara.e.coleman@gmail.com 1/30/09 To Crystal.cartwright@wheaton.edu 2LT Coleman (that has quite a ring to it), Photos from your commissioning are attached. I should have that website and e-mail account information to you by tomorrow. Congratulations again, and have a fantastic celebration weekend! Respectfully, Michael J. Rakow Captain, U.S. Army Health Care Officer-in-Charge, Deerfield/Westchester Offices UNCLASSIFIED////

22: A Calling put into Action... Cara's Student Needs Assessment for African American students at Wheaton College gave a voice to the unique struggles black students were faced with on campus. Cara's hard work and dedication made history at Wheaton College and brought Gods plan for her profession into focus for everyone who was privileged to witness it! | On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 11:02 AM, Cara Coleman wrote: Please fill out the survey when you can. Cara Coleman 2LT, Medical Service Corps, US Army Reserve Army Health Professions Scholar 3rd year Psy.D. student Wheaton College Crystal Cartwright 4/30/09 to Cara Cara Bear, I'm proud of you for doing this sis. I'm praying for you and support you very much. Love ya. Crystal Thanks for doing this for the black students.

23: Wheaton College Student Needs Survey We are in the process of assessing student needs in order to provide more effective services.Please take a few minutes to complete this survey Male Female Age Year Major? Ethnicity ? What culture do you most identify with? Have you ever utilized or considered utilizing services of the Wheaton College Counseling Center? Y N If yes, approximately how many sessions have you attended? If no, what keeps you from utilizing the services? Before today, did you know about Wheaton's Counseling center? If yes, how did you learn about the Center? Who are you most likely to turn to when you are stressed or troubled?(Select the top 3 that apply) Friend staff member Faculty Member parent RA sibling Minister or Priest coach Physician other: counselor/psychologist (outside of Counseling Center) continued...

24: Snippets from 2009... Cara's 27th Birthday Sunday, February 8, 2009 Hung out for the weekend Church on Sunday & Dinner at "Priscilla's Ultimate Soul Food Kitchen" Cara's Present : "The Ultimate Goody Bag with all of Cara's Favorite Snacks! My Beloved Nana went home to be with the Lord and Cara made the hour long drive twice in a week to have breakfast with me and then to attend the funeral. Went to "Alvin Ailey" with Mom and Aunt Kurt at the Auditorium Theater, in Chicago, Il. Breakfast at "Egglectic"-Omelet's hashbrown's and orange juice, yum! Late Night runs to "White Castle for Chicken Rings , cheeseburgers and fries. Entrenuity Business Camp in July. Visiting Kansas City!!! Going to Gospel Choir concerts and being called on the stage for the dreaded "Alumni Song -Omnipotent!" And laughing with Rayna! Cara became the proud owner of her much anticipated motorcycle. All the trips Cara took for Internship placement.

25: On Mon, 10/26/09, Cara Coleman wrote: From: Cara Coleman Subject: Saying Hi To: "Cartwright" Date: Monday, October 26, 2009, 9:37 AM Mrs. Cartwright, I was talking about you last night with Crystal. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you and your family in my life. You are another mother figure to me, and I thank God for another women to look up to as a great example of the character God wants us to possess. I love you. Peace and Blessings. Cara Coleman 2LT, Medical Service Corps, US Army Reserve Army Health Professions Scholar Doctoral Candidate Wheaton College | Family Time... The thing about Cara's story that always reflected Gods Faithfulness, is the way in which he provided so many "Family Roots" for one woman. So my family considered it an honor when our Family joined the ranks of other families who called Cara daughter & Sister.

26: --- On Mon, 10/26/09, Cartwright wrote: From: Cartwright Subject: Re: Saying Hi To: "Cara Coleman" Date: Monday, October 26, 2009, 6:12 PM Dearest Cara, How special it was to hear from you. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I must tell you I am starting to feel anxious about you leaving after graduation. Feeling that we have not spent enough time with you nor made you feel the love of a family in a way that will allow you to know you belong. We really do want to see you. I thank the Lord for what He has done for you and in you. I pray that you never feel discouraged you have such an opportunity and a testimony. I know you have missed your mother but if you continue to live for the Lord and really seek His faith He will lead and guide your every step. No one should ever take her place nor can but I am sure she prayed that God would send women to love and help you. I am here if you ever need me. I hope you get to visit with us at church for some time and also go and hear Bishop Moody with Crystal. Him and Sis. Moody were such a blessing to me as a young woman. His teaching still guides my steps. I pray that you will have some time during your busy time to pray and fast and seek the Lord's face. Bishop Moody has a wonderful shut in in the first of the year. I am going to try to spend at least one day in it. You have such a wonderful testimony and it came with a great cost. I hope you begin every day to thank the Lord for the way He has brought you and we will pray much that the Lord will go before you as you near graduation. May He order your steps, and may you find time to lay up His Words in your heart and in your soul. Memorize at least one scripture a week. It will serve you well. Remember Daniel, and how the Lord used him, read the first chapter and be reminded of how He purposed in his heart to not sin against the Lord and He was given favor. I love you Cara. Maybe soon we will talk and pray. Please keep Pastor and I in your prayers. With my heart and prayers I close this note Mrs. Cartwright Hope you like the family photo

27: From: Cara Coleman Subject: Re: Happy Birthday!!!! To: "Cartwright" Date: Friday, September 11, 2009, 9:12 AM Mrs. Cartwright, How are you? I am not sure if Crystal mentioned it to you, but I am taking a Marital Therapy class this semester. One of my assignments is to do a marital interview. The interview asks questions that pertain to how you met, being married with children, etc. Would you and Pastor Cartwright have 60-90 minutes to participate in this interview this weekend? Peace and Blessings. -- Cara Coleman 2LT, Medical Service Corps, US Army Reserve Army Health Professions Scholar Doctoral Candidate Wheaton College | The Saturday Cara came to interview my parents for her Marital Therapy class, the interview was supposed to be about an hour. But lets just say, when Cara, Mom and Dad start talking, "It's Never Short!" Thankfully, the interview turned out to be beneficial for everyone involved and reinforced Cara's spot as a sister & daughter in the Cartwright family. | Mom took Pictures of Cara on her bike Steve was soo jealous!!!

28: November 14, 2009 Cara's Autobiographical Essay I see myself as wounded healer, as are many of us in this profession. I am still a work in progress, both personally and professionally; but at this point in my journey I have the clearest perspective of who I am and am becoming than I have in the last few years. Looking back, the most pivotal event in my story happened just before my sixteenth birthday. My mother passed away. This impacted life in several ways. My relationship with God matured, the community in which I lived stepped in to help raise me, and people began to share their stories with me. Something in me had changed, and my desire to help people began (wanted to be a veterinarian prior to this point). Having helped to care for a person with a chronic illness the majority of my life, I was familiar with medical care, and thus decided to pursue a degree in biological sciences and then medical school. However, as I neared the end of my senior year I began to feel uneasy about the route I had chosen. Although I loved biology and the opportunity it presented to be a participant in people's healing, I also had been a peer mentor/ counselor for several years and that too had been a rewarding experience. I was still passionate about people and their problems, so I explored attending graduate school for psychology. I wanted to learn the science of psychology, but I also deeply desired to understand personhood as God saw it. I wanted to attend a school that viewed people and their problems from a bio/psycho/social/spiritual framework. So, I was lead to Wheaton College. It has been more recently, while at Wheaton that the pieces of my story have come together in a clear and coherent manner. The parts of my life as an individual, a Christian, and as a mental health professional are inseparable. I love people, and from my early life experiences believe that we are meant to be in community and care for one another. All people deserve hospitality. Throughout my story I have learned that in order to be hospitable I must be compassionate, honest, non-judgmental, flexible, and have a strong desire for my best to be better. These gifts have been my greatest tools in my personal and professional life. I am called to use these tools to be a justice bearer and help empower those who have been marginalized (children, adolescents, young adults, African Americans and other minority groups, those with HIV/AID, victims of abuse, soldiers, etc.). | For I am my mother's daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth. Mary McLeod Bethune | Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

29: Believing that we should strive to promote “wellness”, prevention is as important to me as intervention and the community is as important to me as the individual. I want to utilize both my biology and psychology backgrounds to work with people and communities to promote health, mentally, physically, socially and “spiritually”. Again, I am a work in progress. I am working on being confident in who I am and my abilities. I still have much to learn (and am up for the task); but what I am certain of is that I have been called to this work as a wounded healer. This is my purpose. Cara Cox Coleman | The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the World" William Ross Wallace I never had the privilege of meeting Cara's mother. But as I listened to Cara's stories about her and witnessed the influence she has on Cara's life, I am reminded of the plan God had for Cara before her birth. I will never forget when Cara told me January 15th was the anniversary of her mothers passing. For some reason God let this anniversary and story touch my heart. And every year since our friendship began, I've wanted Cara to know that I understand the importance of remembering her mom. We are only able to succeed in life because of the people who sacrificed and came before us. Cara's mom may not be here physically, but the seeds she planted in Cara so many years ago have grown and helped Cara to blossom into the success she is today. Our pre-ordained callings in life are for a greater purpose and every struggle, loss, and challenge we face is meant to prepare us for our destiny. | Cara with guidance, a listening ear, faith, determination and courage you have discovered your calling for life. And in my heart, I believe your Mom is proud of the precious little girl who has become this remarkable woman we see today! Your perseverance has taught me so much, I'm not sure I could survive some of your losses. But you have taught one can go through loss with grace and dignity! | Crystal Cartwright 1/15/09 to Cara Dear Cara, So I have been thinking about you and I have wanted to write you a letter. Since this is the anniversary of your moms home going, I thought today would be an perfect time to write you. Sister you are amazing. Your determination and perseverance is such a great example to me. But with all the great things you are and do I pray you know so many of us love you I pray you know you deserve the best and that someday you will have it. Life has thrown you some curves but you have gone through everything with such dignity. So as you think of your mom please know how proud she is of you, and how much your sister loves you and was mindful of you today. Crystal

30: 2010 Preparing for Goodbyes & New Beginnings ... | Cara's 28th Birthday February 8, 2010 2 weekends of Celebration Dreamgirls on "Broadway in Chicago" with Heidi and dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe. Dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and a movie. | Snippets from 2010 Cara was accepted into her #1 internship choice: Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington Jami and Jewel came up for the weekend, so we could attend Alvin Ailey at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, Il Cara and I attended Cara's Psy.D. Banquet. This particular banquet was emotional because it was Cara's official send off. Cara moved to Tacoma, Washington and I had to say Good Bye to my "best friend"...I was so distraught, I couldn't even give her the present I bought her (denial & dramatic). Cara goes for training in Texas, she gets her first taste of life as a solider...we are talking, no showers, MRE's, tents, weapons and a bunch of stuff I probably don't want to know about. Most importantly the addition of new friends and a New Church family in Cara's Life!

31: Sisters Visit 2010

32: --- On Wed, 1/20/10, Cara Coleman wrote: From: Cara Coleman Subject: Voicemail To: "Cartwright" Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 11:17 AM Hello Mrs. Cartwright! I hope that this email finds you well. I am sorry that I missed your phone call last night, but I am so very appreciative of the voicemail that you left me. You and your family have been such a blessing and encouragement in my life. I am thankful that God has placed mother figures like you in my life. You challenge me to be be a better woman of God. In fact, I wish that all of my friends had strong Christian mentors in their lives like you and your husband. Thanks again. -- Cara

33: From: Cartwright, Nicole Subject: RE: Voicemail To: "Cartwright" Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 2:43 PM Dearest Cara, Thank you but you only challenge me to be better. I was thinking of you and just in case you are not told enough, I think the Lord has done wonderful things in you. I am praying for your future and am certain that the Lord will use you. Don't be weary in well doing For in due season you shall reap if you faint not. I pray the will of Of God concerning you. I pray that God will allow you to marry and that you will wait no matter how long it seems. I am convinced this time is not wasted. God will use you. Crystal says " I can't believe Cara will be gone soon. I pray she knows that the Lord has allowed this time in both of your lives that Iron might sharpen Iron. Do not leave with out making each other better. Hold unto this scripture And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45 I love you and only wish I could love you more. Your mother would be so proud of you. She planted such good seeds in you and now the World is recipient of her labor of love, in you. I am expecting the Lord to do great things in you and Crystal and generations shall benefit because of your hard work today. I attached a photo of Crystal, Amber and I at Nana's burial, reminding us of; Ecclesiastes 3:1"To everything there is a season and a time every purpose under the heavens., Time does bring about a change, and what we thought unbearable becomes a precious moment in our lives and a treasured memory. Blessings & Love Mrs. Cartwright p.s. sounds so formal Crystal calls me Nicole, What do you think? LOL, No, You can call me Treasure ( No that won't work, Josh said, it would change when I go to heaven and they would call me Buried Treasure (That doesn't sound so nice)

34: Psy.D. Banquet May 7, 2010 4th Year This particular banquet was bittersweet because the reality of Cara preparing to leave for Internship was something we her family & friends could no longer pretend was Not happening!

35: For I know the Plans I have for you...

36: For Such aTime as This...2011 For the first time since I had met Cara, I didn't spend her birthday with her. So, I basically stalked her with text messages, Facebook posts, emails and we Skyped. At the suggestion of Heidi, I sang her the "WGCI" Birthday song! "GREAT TIMES." Cara successfully defended her dissertation (she also left her phone at Ohare Int. Airport and amazingly got it back "True Act of God" and kindness by Kendra. Cara and I visited Kansas City for the weekend. Much earned break for Cara. Cara Graduated with her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology on May 8, 2011 and all of her family were able to attend this monumental occasion. Cara found a beautiful new place downtown Tacoma with a great view of Mount Rainier and I came to visit for week. 2010-2011 Cara made the transition from 2LT to Captain and Chief Resident.

37: Captain Cox Coleman's "New Life" as Clinical Psychology Resident at Madigan Army Medical Center Joint Base Lewis-McChord

38: Cara E. Cox Coleman, M.A. As I sit here pondering what to say in these next few paragraphs, I realize that it is surreal to finally be at this place. It seems as if this journey to completing this project and degree began just yesterday. However, my great-grandparents, grandparents, uncles/aunts, and parents started this journey long ago. These are the people who knew the value of education and paved the way for me by being amongst the first African Americans to receive master’s degrees and doctorate degrees in a time when that was unheard of. I stand on the shoulders of giants, and for that I am grateful. This journey for me has not been easy. It has been filled with life hurdles and academic hoops (some of which I’ve had to pass through more than once in order to move forward). God in his sovereignty made it plain early on, that no matter what obstacles I might face that this process was His will for my life. He sent many villages to support me and raise me during this process. To my Kansas City and Chicago villages, thank you for your support and direction throughout my life. To my Psy.D. village, thank you for your love, and challenging me to be confident in me and what God has for me. To my undergraduate Wheaton village, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives in so many ways. It is this last village from which this project emerged. It was their willingness to share their pain, which started me on this last leg of my graduate journey. Thank you not only for sharing your pain, but also your willingness to participate in this research. This project was not simply to address the behavioral health needs of one population at Wheaton College, but also the beginning of a journey to promote wellness within many different minorities in many different communities. To my dissertation committee (Dr. McNeil, Dr. Kwee, and Dr. DeMerchant), you have been far more than just my dissertation committee. Each of you has helped grow me over these last several years. Each of you have supported me, and challenged me to be who God says I am. Thank you for all of your hard work, even in the midst of your life transitions. To all who were not officially on my committee (Mr. Rodney Sisco, and the Wheaton College Counseling Center staff) thank you for your encouragement and your willingness to participate in any way needed. God Bless you and keep you all. | Wheaton College Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology Cara Cox Coleman Dissertation Bulletin January 2011

39: Wheaton College Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology Oral Examination of Cara E. Cox Coleman, M.A. B.S. 2004- Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia M.A. 2008- Clinical Psychology, Wheaton College Psy.D. Candidate- Clinical Psychology, Wheaton College _________________________________________ For the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Thursday, January 27, 2011 Room number, at 1:00pm Billy Graham Center Wheaton College Wheaton, Illinois _________________________________________ Clinical Dissertation Committee J. Derek McNeil, Ph.D. (Chair) Janelle Kwee, Psy.D. (Reader) Douglas DeMerchant, Psy.D., (Reader) | Understanding Wellness Among African American Christian College Students: A Needs Assessment for the Wheaton College Counseling Center The purpose of this study was to assess the stressors, barriers to receiving counseling services, and overall wellness of African American students on the campus of Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. Wheaton College is a small (2,500 undergraduate students), Christian, liberal arts college located in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. These stresses and factors of wellbeing were explored using both a qualitative (focus groups) and a quantitative (surveys) approach. The data was examined using T-tests, Anovas, and bi-variate correlative analysis. The results were consistent with previous studies that suggested that in addition to normative stressors found on a college campus, African American students experienced nuanced strains having to do with their minority status. These students are more likely to discuss emotional issues with others before counselors, and that when they do seek counseling they attend fewer sessions.

40: Psy.D. Banquet May 6th 2011 5th Year This final banquet before Cara's graduation was especially meaningful because her Family was there! A Job Well Done!!! | Priceless moments with Family... & Friends

42: May 8,,2011 Graduation Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Captain Cara Cox Coleman | It took 5 years and many Prayers &Generations before her, to make a Dr. | If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs... Mary McLeod Bethune | Recipient of the "William Hiram Bentley Award for Ministry to the African American Community" 2011

43: A Heart is Not Judged by how much it Loves but how much it is Loved by others.....

44: "Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work." Booker T. Washington | Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough Mary McLeod Bethune

46: -----Original Message----- From: Crystal Cartwright [mailto:ccartwright@lfgsm.edu] Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 11:44 AM To: Jami Stovall Subject: Cara's Birthday Hey Girl, Has Cara said anything to you about her birthday? She has surprisingly mentioned it to me . I think because she knows she may be deployed by her 31st birthday, she might want to take advantage of celebrating her 30th. She basically has given the green light for us to come up with some ideas on how to celebrate. So I thought I'd pick your brain for suggestions too...Two sisters brains are better than one :) Besides we both know she can be funny about surprises, lol. I know she is leaning towards coming to Kansas City for her birthday so all of you guys can celebrate with her. Let me know what you think when you can :) Crystal | -----Original Message----- From: Jami Stovall [mailto:Jami.Stovall@BlueKC.com] Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:07 PM To: Crystal Cartwright Subject: RE: Cara's Birthday Crystal, She hasn't mentioned her bday to me recently; she did back with Kevin's bday was coming around b/c he did a fb event invite wanting her to come and be apart of his 30th bday bash in Vegas! She mentioned then maybe wanting to venture out of her usual "at home maybe dinner" to treat herself and said if she were in KC she'd be ok with going to a upscale lounge here just to not be in the house and spend time with fam/friends, etc. But nothing since then (which has been about a month or so I think). Her birthday falls on a Wed in 2012 so if she comes home and is here through that weekend, you should come too (!) and we can plan a get together for here some place here?! I mean nothing big just people that she talks to LOL- me, you, Tamika and her fiance', Kevin, Curtis and Mario. I know she doesn't like surprises but still think if you could come down and we decided on that- we'd just let her in on us going out- then all of the other people would just show up lol. Let me know your thoughts!! Jami Stovall | -----Original Message----- From: Crystal Cartwright [mailto:ccartwright@lfgsm.edu] Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 2:04 PM To: Jami Stovall Subject: RE Cara's birthday Sounds like a very good idea ma'am..Month's ago I blocked off the weekend after Cara's actual birthday so I could be available for whatever she wanted to do. And I knew Cara wouldn't be able to get permission to leave Tacoma until that weekend anyway. So, your idea sounds good and truthfully it would be sooo much cheaper and a much shorter flight for me to fly to KC instead of Tacoma! So I like that idea :) I'll probe Cara a little more and see where her mind is...but if we can get her to commit to coming to KC that weekend...we can leave her in the dark about everything else and she can be surprised! We can work on it together, just tell me what you want me to do :)I talked to Tamika already and she said just give her details and dates and she will be there Crystal Crystal, Ok, sounds good. Probe her and see what she's planning on doing. I think she'd be ok with this type of surprise :). I'm glad you may be able to come down I'm excited already lol. Once we know for sure she's committed to coming, we can start working on the dates- place, time, people, etc... Jami Stovall | "Scheming Sisters" So we couldn't let Cara's 30th Birthday roll around and Not plan something. And what better to do at work, than have Jami & Crystal email plans for Cara's Birthday!!! | 8, 2012

47: From: Crystal Cartwright [mailto:ccartwright@lfgsm.edu] Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 12:58 PM To: Jami Stovall Subject: Hey !!! Hey Lady Happy New Year!!! Hope all is well, buddy when you have some time, lets chat about Cara’s birthday she and I were talking about purchasing tickets to come out there, I thought it would be good to chat with you and see what we exactly have planned, btw our sister is being very nosy, lol. Last night she told me she had her outfit picked out for whatever we have planned, I was cracking up, I was like who are you and where is Cara Did she tell you that she has invited her friend Sara to come down that weekend too? She gave me a list of people not to forget to include in whatever we are doing. I think she's excited. So when you have time, let's talk. I already talked with Tamika and she said let her know if we need her to do anything. Crystal From: Jami Stovall [ Subject: RE: Hey !!! Lol that's funny.. when she was here she mentioned talking to Curtis or Kevin and said that she told them they'd be getting a call soon whenever she came back in Feb I just ignored her LOL. She already has an outfit too?!?!! LOL yes, I’m with you where is Cara b/c this is not like her at all.. I’m glad she's excited though!!! There are two sushi places that I’m thinking about The Drunken Fish and Nara. She likes sushi and both places have non-sushi dishes if I’m not mistaken. What is the # of people that she's mentioned to you??? I’d feel bad at this point if we really weren't planning anything for her- she's been such a team player so far LOL. Oh yea Happy New Year!! | From: Crystal Cartwright [mailto:ccartwright@lfgsm.edu] Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 2:05 PM To: Jami Stovall Subject: RE: Hey !!! LolI know I feel like Cara has done a 180 or stolen my identity (because I’ve never known her to be excited about birthdays, that’s usually all me, lol). But like you said, I’m excited she’s excited, 30 is a big deal. As of now she is planning on coming to KC sometime on Friday and leaving Sunday afternoon (she will have final details from her job about when she can leave, this evening). Her friend Sara already purchased her ticket to come, Cara arranged all that, ha ha. I will give you cara’s list of people she wants there, it's not very long and the majority of people, you already mentioned to me. The sushi lounge sounds like a good idea!! Is the lounge a spot Jewel can come to? Cara mentioned that she wanted to do something that Jewel can come to too, and then do something that's more for adults, yet laid back (her exact words, lol). As soon as Cara purchases her ticket, I’ll get mine . BTW you are so right it would have really sucked if we hadn't planned anything, LOL Crystal, Haha you have rubbed off on her for this occasion that's awesome . 30 is a big deal so I’m glad she's not acting like she'd rather sit at home and watch movies LOL. when she tells you officially when she's coming let me know. I think she did mention to me wanting to leave later in the afternoon that Sunday. Yes, the sushi place is a spot that Jewel can be at I’ll have to look into whether there's a timeframe that it goes to 21+ or what have you. So right now we're thinking a 2-part deal family-esque for all ages then more grown up with mainly her friends, etc Jami Stovall I’m sending you some websites of the places I was talking to you about let me know what you think when you can! Nara: http://www.narakc.com/index.html I have not been here myself but it was highly recommended for any sushi fans. The Drunken Fish: http://www.drunkenfish.com/#location/4 Tyson and I went here on a date.. the atmosphere is really nice and it’s in our power n light district so there's always something going on surrounding this place is popular! The food was decent- I only had their lo mein but hear the sushi is good. They do have a room that we can reserve that would accommodate all of us but we'd only be able to do dinner there- reserving a table does not give the ability for any happy hour or other specials Cara has mentioned wanting to try this place out FYI. Qudos: http://qudoscigarbar.com/index.htm This is the place that we could do after the “family” gathering possibly it’s pretty laid back (depending on the night you’re there- I think Saturday would be fine). it's not really big but I like that We know of a really good live cover band.. I’ll see if they have anything lined up for that weekend; maybe we can go to where they are doing their set- timeframe permitting. Cara’s never seen them but I have and they are the bomb.com lol.

48: Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you and before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you...Jeremiah 1:5b Cara, This book doesn't even begin to touch on all of the memories we have made, but I hope it serves as a reminder of how much your life and sisterhood has made an impression on my life. 2012 is going to be a big year for both of us. For those of us who love you, we are faced with the reality that this time next year, you might not be here, due to deployment. This isn't an easy fact to admit to ourselves, but it is something we must accept and support you in. Remember years ago you said to me me, "You are my sister and you are not heavy."Well this same truth holds true for you. Happy 30th Birthday Cara. May you feel the love of God and your family on this day and may this gift and your celebration be a reminder of how much you are loved. Cheers to many more memories and confidence in Gods plan for each of our lives. Love Crystal Marie | Sisters for Life | I can't wait for "Part 2" of our sisterhood... God Knows how to keep it Exciting!!!

49: I will always be thankful to God and Wheaton College for blessing me with another Sister! | The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood. Mary McLeod Bethune | “Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.” W.E.B. Du Bois | “A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.” W.E.B. Du Bois | I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity. Mary McLeod Bethune | Whatever glory belongs to the race for a development unprecedented in history for the given length of time, a full share belongs to the womanhood of the race.

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crystal cartwright
  • By: crystal c.
  • Joined: almost 8 years ago
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  • Title: Cara's 30th Birthday- 5 years to Thirty
  • A 30th Birthday Gift for my sister/best friend.
  • Tags: None
  • Published: almost 8 years ago