I have to apologize in advance, because what I am going to write is probably going to be a little rambling, and a lot sad. It will be somewhat therapeutic for me, I’m praying. Hopefully you will really get it and make some changes in your life, if they are needed.
The past six months have been pretty rough for our family. In October, my husband’s oldest brother passed away. He had a stroke the year before and never got the proper care to recover. That was a long, hard year for us–we begged and pleaded to bring him home to Ohio for all those months. We finally did get him home, but the place where he’d been let his condition get so poor that he could not survive. As I said, he was the oldest and almost 20 years older than my husband…so he had a long life. It was filled with ups and downs, probably more than a few regrets, but he had plenty of time.
In January, I got a phone call from my sister– and could not understand what she was trying to say. When she finally could speak intelligibly, she managed to get out that she’d just found our oldest brother passed away on his couch. He hadn’t been feeling well, but like lots of men, refused to go to the doctor. Worse, he had been gone for a few days. This was an experience I would not wish on my worst enemy– I felt horrible for my poor sister, and worse for my brother. His life for the ten years prior to his death were not good. His wife divorced him and took away his son, his reason for living– and yes, I can say that he definitely died of a broken heart, even though it took that long.
Yesterday morning I got a phone call from my Mom, telling me to brace myself for bad news. The news was that my cousin Charlie had died. I had to keep asking, are you sure? Charlie, and not his dad, Chuck? Charlie was just 33 years old…healthy as a horse, as far as I know. I was there at the hospital the day he was born, just 10 months before our oldest son. (Yes, I am dating myself, and yes, I am a proud Grandma!) This IS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN! The young people are supposed to outlive us older folks! My heart is truly broken over this–I cannot imagine how Angela, his young wife, is even dealing with it. I’m not sure I could live through it if something happened to Mark now. But, and this is the only redeeming thing to come out of Charlie’s passing– he was the type of person that truly LIVED every moment. He loved his wife Angela with everything that he had, and she loves him dearly. Even though his life was very short, he had a good and happy life.
The moral of my story, of course— do not take ONE SECOND of your life for granted. Be happy, have fun, do what YOU want to do, love your friends and family like it was your last day on Earth; you never know when your time is up, and it will be. Make the most of it all, and smile every day. If there are people or situations in your life that just aren’t working, move on, and find your bliss.
This will be Charlie’s legacy to the family–to remind us all how important really living, deeply loving, and being truly happy is.
RIP Charlie…with all our love.