The family of a late Franklin officer will have their mortgage paid in full

Tunnels to Towers Foundation
Posted at 7:35 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 21:27:31-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — In every home, there are pieces and pictures that remind us of the ones we love.

"We will have been married 35 years in December -- so that’s a long time," said Kim Carson.

But for Kim, it's the man she's missing that has left this house and her heart empty.

"We just take each day one day at a time. That’s just what I have to do," said Carson. "I cry almost every day. Some days I just have a screaming fit, but some days are just harder than others."

Her husband of nearly 35 years — Franklin Police Officer and Country Music Singer Jeff Carson — passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. But perhaps just as surprising was the turnout both inside and outside of Brentwood Baptist Church, on the day of his funeral.

"I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it, and people were out of their cars. It was really just something," said Carson.

Escorting Kim and their son Dayton on Jeff's final journey was his beloved Chevy Chavelle. Fittingly, it still sits inside the family's garage.

"I would always say to him, well I don’t know why you would need windshield wipers because you’re never going to take it out and get it dirty. He kept it so clean and he kept it spotless," she said.

But Kim wasn't sure whether the car and the rest of their belongings would stay in this house forever. That is, until they got an invite to a special concert.

"We truly thought we were just invited," said Carson.

Inside the Wildhorse Saloon, a venue Jeff had played many times, came the biggest show stopper of Kim's life. "And I could kind of hear the crowd starting to oohh -- as if they knew something," she said.

That's when the Chairman and CEO of Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Frank Siller, made the big announcement.

"Tonight I want to let you know that Tunnel to Towers has made a commitment and promise to you, that we are going to pay off your mortgage. You’re never going to have to worry about your mortgage again," he said.

The foundation pays off mortgages for survivors of first responders and military personnel. And now Kim is one of them.

"And I just couldn’t believe it," she said. "It was unbelievable. We were most grateful."

And while this house that Kim and Jeff shared may never feel the same, she'll never have to part with the reminders that their love will never end. "The outpouring of love, it’s just surrounding us. It’s just been something, it’s been helpful," said Carson.

If you'd like to watch the full Tunnel to Towers Foundation Benefit Concert, featuring the Carson family and others helped by the organization, it will air Friday night on NewsChannel 5 at 8 p.m.