Better late than never

Published 6:00 am Sunday, June 28, 2009

Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

This is an appropriate favorite scripture for Tami Shelton McCarver.

On Memorial Day weekend 2005 as she sat in the sunshine on her grandparent’s boat, the boat exploded and sent McCarver to the hospital with severe burns, pain and depression.

After eight days in the hospital, McCarver was given her “marching orders.” She was to have absolutely no sun exposure and stay cool inside. The painful debriding of her wounds was to continue.

Her then 13- and 7-year-olds had witnessed this accident so the whole family went to a therapist.

McCarver was lost in her own thoughts and worries. What was she to do with her life?

For three years McCarver had been a preschool teacher at Westwood and had been driving a school bus route for Creekview Elementary for four years, as well as “subbing” at Creekview. All her friends had been urging her to go to college.

Could she do that with two kids at home? Her husband, Todd, said go for it.

In the fall of 2005, she began full-time classes at Jeff State and two years later won a scholarship to the University of Montevallo.

On May 9 of this year, Tami McCarver walked through graduation at Flower Hill at Montevallo. On May 21, son T.J. graduated from Thompson High School.

The former Tami Shelton met Todd McCarver at Fairfield Highlands Baptist Church in Midfield. He was tall and handsome. They dated off and on for two years.

She graduated from Bessemer Academy in 1989 and was married in the summer of 1990. She and Todd both worked for Alabama Gas for several years, going from Birmingham to Bessemer, then to the store in Alabaster when it opened.

Both of them loved Alabaster, settled in and decided to have a second child. T.J., their first, had serious surgeries as a child so rushing into a second pregnancy was a rather scary idea. However, all went well and Taylin is a perky 12-year-old rising seventh grader at Thompson Middle School.

In 1996 Todd finally achieved his dream of becoming a fireman. Pelham gave him the nod and he is still there. Son T.J. plans to follow in Dad’s footsteps and will start attending Shelton State in August.

Two of their favorite family trips are to New York City to Yankee Stadium and to Cozumel for swimming with dolphins and snorkeling.

In a few years, when the kids are grown, Tami and Todd hope to go to the real Viking country — Norway — to see the amazing mountains and water.

Creekview Elementary has hired McCarver as a first grade teacher.

Live well, Laugh often, Love much girl, you deserve it!