Thursday, July 17, 2008

What If The World Had More Charlies?

After helping "Charlie" with his garage, he asked me to help his wife get her new apartment ready. I purchased new bedroom furniture, bedding and shower items for "Sandra," then returned to help get all her items put away.

During lunch, Charlie's wife began telling a bit about his life.

Charlie's father was a physicist who was in the US Defense Department working on weapons of mass destruction. Due to his father's responsibilities, Charlie spent his entire childhood under the care of the secret service. Bouncing from home to home, with a new last name each time he moved. WOW!

Sandra continued to tell how he ran off and joined the Marines at age 16. Ranking a Major in the US Marine Corps, Charlie fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. She continued on with stories about their travels and hobbies.
I was in awe!!

Charlie gazed at his wife with such a loving look in his eyes. It was amazing to see a man care so very much about his wife. Not by anything he said or did, just his eyes. Stunning.

Sandra mentioned her back ached a bit. Charlie, speaking very slowly from the effects of his stroke, "Would you like me to arrange for a massage?"

In a flash, Sandra snapped back:
"Oh so now your gonna do something for me.
What the hell would I want anything from you? Your useless."

Charlie simply pursed his lips, nodded to me, his eyes broken.

"Sandra, why don't you eat your lunch so we can finish unpacking your room?" I stated in attempt to skirt what just happened.

Charlie went off for a haircut. Sandra and I went to her new room to get her items unpacked.

Charlie is an amazing man. He has told me he will always love his wife despite what her dementia is doing to her. My respect for Charlie grows with each meeting I have with him.
Hmmm ... funny, I randomly chose Charlie's nickname.
He is more than a good man. Charlie is a great man.

Sometimes what you learn from a stranger is priceless.

What have you learned from someone?


Anonymous said...

I had considered naming our son Charlie at one point. He is becoming a wonderful cartoonist. And a quite the young man. We gave the world a Jacob. That's pretty darn cool too.


An interesting story, Angie. In sickness and in health. I would say Charlie is playing close attention to his vows.

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

Wonderful story!

SOUL said...

that is a pretty cool story-- if a little sad.

and what have i learned from someone?
i learn a lot from people here in blogland. as you know, all my friends live in the computer :))
(well, cept a couple- but i rarely "see-or talk" to them. so they kinda do too)

but before i met my blog peeps-- including you ya know--
i really never talked .. in much of any way-- to anyone. or listened either.
barely left the house.
not even to fish. or do important things, like shop, check the mail, nothing.
i took the kid to school, came home, hid out alone, picked up the kid, came home, hid out, made dinner when hubby came home.. and the cycle continued.

i'm not that person anymore. so i guess i learned that there's a me in here --- when i choose to let her out.

but-- i can be stubborn at times.. and revert to my old habits-- but not for as long as i did before.

anyhow-- time for me to shut up and go to sleep-
happy weekend-
sorry i fell so far behind over here---
better change my name to
ima slacker eh?