Monday, February 25, 2013

National Brain Tumor Society 5K 2013 Set for November 9, 2013

P1000080February 13th, 2013 was the day that we gathered and remembered the amazing woman, wife, and mother that was Carroll. I delivered her eulogy with minimal tears, how, I don’t know, and at the end, I issued a call to crowd. To most honor Carroll, go forth and give of yourself unto others. That is how best to remember her, by emulating her caring spirit. And to give them a starting point, I asked everyone present to come join us at the next Dallas-Ft. Worth Brain Tumor Walk.

The date has been set on the National Brain Tumor Society site, but the link for the walk has not gone live yet. It probably will not for another month or two, but in the meantime, you can mark your calendars for November 9th, 2013. It will be a Saturday and will start about 7:00 A.M. I can’t expect everyone to make it, but I can hope that we will have a great turnout and we can show people what Kiwi was all about!

I will continue to post the important stuff here for those that don’t have Facebook, but those that do can keep up with the Walk info at A Walk With Kiwi. Come join us!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


May27#70Just got back from dropping Lilly off at school and made mine & Carroll's usual morning run. Caught myself before I ordered one for her. She always got the breakfast on a bun with sausage. And no egg. I never understood that, but that's what made me love my wife. Those little things like a breakfast sandwich without the "breakfast" on it. lol I miss her bunches.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Obituary of Carroll Elizabeth Benjamin Pickering

The obituary as it should have run in the Dallas Morning News, if I had wanted to pay $725. I love my wife and her memory, but that money will go somewhere else to better honor her.

Carroll Elizabeth Benjamin Pickering, 40, left behind the pain of stage IV brain cancer that had plagued her for over two years February 3, 2013. She passed away in the comfort of her home in Dallas with family by her side. She was born May 10, 1972 in Houston, Texas.

She is preceded in death by her father, James H. Benjamin. Surviving family members are her husband, James, and daughter, Lillian, mother, Marie Bagert, and siblings Annie Irwin, Katy Benjamin, Margaret Benjamin, and Hank Benjamin. 

She was employed by Neiman Marcus for twelve years as a financial coordinator. She enjoyed traveling with her family and friends and had just completed a trip to the Hill Country and northeastern Georgia with her husband and daughter. She was an avid reader, including bedtime stories to her daughter. She loved making jewelry, cooking and baking, especially around the holidays. She actively participated the last two years of the National Brain Tumor 5K walk with the love and support of family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at Sparkman/Hillcrest Northwest Highway Chapel. The family asks, that in lieu of flowers, make a donation in Carroll's name to the National Brain Tumor Society ( or to a charity that is close to your heart.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lindy Bullock-Cox Remembered

When Carroll first got diagnosed and we started doing radiation and chemos, I found a flyer on the wall of Dr. Karen Fink's office for the National Brain Tumor Society 5K Walk and decided to join her team, Fink's Fighters. The next year, I went solo and formed up a team for Carroll called Team Kiwi, Kiwi being her nickname. For three years, my performance was compared to the leader of fund-raising and the person to beat every year. That person was Lindy Bullock-Cox. Lindy passed away three days after Carroll.

I don't know Lindy's story, for even though I watched her dollar amounts leave mine behind in the dust, I never got a chance to meet and talk to her. In fact, for the first time last September, I actually got a chance to see what she looked like.

I do know that Lindy, as well as my wife, was a fighter and will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Take time to remember Lindy and, if possible, leave a donation at

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tribute Page

Over the last few days, I have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love for my wife. Actually, no, I'm not. She was an amazing woman who faced down a disease and stared it in the eye when it came time to go. She was always more worried about those around her than herself and that was the truth until the end.

We have set a time and place for remembering Carroll. This is the link to the tribute page at Sparkman-Hillcrest.

Carroll will be cremated and we will have a memorial service at Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home on North West Highway in Dallas. It is Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM. We tried to pick it far enough down the calendar that people could make travel arrangements and somewhere in the day that they not have to deal with morning or evening traffic. There will be no graveside ceremony, but a marker will be placed beside her father's grave and Lilly and I will retain the ashes.

Carroll and I had discussed briefly back in December how she wanted things to go when she passed and we've tried to keep that promise. One of the things was that she wanted her life celebrated and not a lot of boo-hooing. I do the former daily, but cannot promise the second. In trying to keep with her wishes, I ask that everyone bring with them to the memorial, a favorite story that they have of Carroll and share it with me or, if you wish, with the ones that she loved and loved her. If you cannot make it, I will create a memorial page where she can be remembered and you can leave your stories and comments. I may contact you to ask for permission to read some of these at the ceremony.

There will be a get-together after the memorial, but we are wrapping up details on this as we speak, so stay tuned for more info, including the memorial page.

Again, thank you for loving her as I have.

Carroll's Passing

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my wife, Carroll. She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.

After a wonderful birthday for our daughter on the 19th, Carroll, Lilly, and I took off for the Hill Country to visit family and friends. While there, Carroll noticed certain changes that encouraged her to make one last trip and that was to Georgia to visit Lilly's great-grandmother on my side of the family. From the first time they met, She and my grandmother had a close relationship. We stayed only a day due to the changes Carroll, and even I had now started to notice.

By the end of Saturday, our first leg of the trip home, Carroll exhibited signs of a stroke, but told me that she was just tired. I later realized that it was also symptomatic of the tumor progression. We left on our last leg of the journey home with Carroll in pain from excruciating head aches, and with her heavily medicated I called ahead to have Hospice care and her mother meet us at the house. 

She passed away at home late last night having finished the trip that she had started to say good bye to loved ones. Funeral arrangements have not been made yet, but will be announced as soon as they are made. If you can think of anyone that may not get this message, please feel free to pass it on in any form that is needed. Thank you for all of your support and prayers for us in the past, going forward, but especially now.

James & Lilly Pickering