This was the official name given to last summer by my friends as I was turning 50 in August. Then, in June my mom went in to the hospital and I spent the whole month going back and forth to her house caring for her. The “Summer of Carrie” wasn’t shaping up to be much fun. But, for the rest of my life, whenever I think back to that summer, I will remember my closest friend buying two fun lounge chairs for sitting out on our balcony. The chair had a special holder for my beverage. Every night we sat out on those chairs. Sometimes I would just lay back and look at the city lights. Other nights I would enjoy the light show that the stars in the sky provided. There were just as many nights that I would be so engrossed in reading a book on my Kindle that I forgot to even look up and notice the fireworks display taking place over Navy Pier! I loved situating that chair to be ready for the exact moment when the hot summer sun came around to shine on our balcony. And there I would sit until the wee hours of the night. I looked forward to my chair, all sprawled out and waiting for me, after a long day of work and taking care of my mom. The chair was the symbol of a summer that was made so special by my friends’ constant reminder that it was the “Summer of Carrie”, which really meant, we love you and we are here for you. What a great summer.