Sunday will be Cindy Carpenter's first Gold Star Mothers Day that she will remember.
“I really don't recall much last year, we were in such a fog,” she said from her home Saturday in Columbia, Tennessee.
Sunday has been proclaimed Gold Star Mothers Day in Tennessee by Governor Bill Haslam.
Cindy Carpenter became one last year when her son Andrew died fighting in Afghanistan.
On Valentine's Day 2011, her husband received a call that the 27-year-old Marine had been shot in the Helmond province of Afghanistan.
“He had survived a firefight, but was hit in the brain stem by a sniper when they were on the way back to base,” she said sadly recalling that day.
“We knew there was not much medics at the scene or doctors later could do, but we were able to see him before they pulled the machines,” Cindy said as she shared the story of going to a U.S. Military hospital in Germany to see her mortally wounded son one last time.
Outside and inside the Carpenter home, there are reminders of Andrew.
A Gold Star Mother emblem is on Cindy's license plate.
Andrew Carpenter's name, the day he was born and the day he died are in letters on the rear window of his mother's car.
“It helps to know he is with me all the time, but he is always with me, he comes to all the time and talks and tells me its going to be okay,” she said looking at the plates and the rear window.
Along with the Gold Star Mothers Day there is another remembrance this weekend for the Carpenter family.
A flag that once flew over the nation's capitol flies in the front yard.
Corporal Andy Carpenter would have been 29 years old this past September 28.
“We wanted something to memorialize his birthday, not balloons or anything, but something special because he fought for our country,” said Cindy looking up at the flag.
The family received it from state Representative Sheila Butt of Columbia.
Cindy plans to give it one day to her grandson Landon, who was born a month after his father's death.
Along with his mother and grandson, Corporal Andrew Carpenter is survived by his wife, his father and three sisters.