Valley Lives - Carter Fleming
The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the May 11, 2016 issue. Reprinted with permission.
Saying goodbye to the boy who was 'always smiling'
by Tess Allen
One week after seven-yearold Carter Fleming died, snow fell from the skies over Cantley in big, wet flakes.
"A lot of us woke up this morning and thought, 'Good one, Carter'," said Katie Kaye, whose son, Ares, was one of Carter's best friends. "He loved snow and he loved a good joke."
On May 1, Carter was killed by a rolling pick-up truck in the driveway of his Rena Road home. Family, friends, and many in the Cantley community remember a kind, adventurous little boy with a big heart and a smile that never seemed to leave his face.
"Carter was friends with everybody. He loved everybody and accepted everybody," said Kaye, who has been friends with Carter's parents, Josée Lepine and Jason Fleming, for several decades. "He loved adventure. He was a bush boy, for sure."
Carter's friends need no reminding. At a gathering to speak with The Low Down, 10-year-old Jordan Kaye was the first to pipe up about her friend and their many adventures. She described him as a "daredevil" who was "always smiling."
"He made me laugh all the time. He always had that smile on his face," said Jordan, adding that Carter was "friends with everyone" at St. Elizabeth School.
She recalls the time shortly after his seventh birthday when he declared "I can eat bugs now", and then marched around telling everyone how delicious they were; that afternoon he taught her how to shadowbox in his front yard; that summer he kissed a frog; one Halloween, he dressed up as a Viking and played the part with vigour at every doorstep they visited. He liked to play pranks, she said, and got a kick out of surprise nerf gun attacks.
"I only saw him sad a couple of times... He was a very happy kid and always wanted to help," she said. "He had so many friends at his school that almost the entire school is sad, and not just because it's a tragic accident, but because most of them he played with or was friends with. Everybody just loved him. He was a cute, funny, happy kid."
Eight-year-old Ares Cooper remembers "taking walks everywhere" with Carter, who was always up for something new and exciting.
"We would go in the woods and look for stuff," said Ares. "We would just go adventuring."
When Carter wasn't getting up before dawn to start having fun with his friends or his brother, nine-year-old Hunter, he was helping out his parents with whatever they needed on any given day.
"He was the hardest little working seven-year old I ever knew. And everyday all he wanted to do was make it easier for others to do what they had to do," said Carter's father, Jason Fleming, in a statement to The Low Down.
"He was kind. He was polite. He had a good heart, and he was selfless," added his mother, Josée. "He was loved and not a single day went by since the day he was born that we didn't tell him how much we loved him."
Carter's parents wish to thank the first responders, the police, and the Gatineau hospital "for all their efforts," as well as the community, "who are now part of our family."
A GoFundMe page has been set up in support of the Fleming family. Those who wish to donate can do so at Gofundme.com/theflemings.
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