Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our World Could Use a Few More Charlies

After helping "Charlie" with organizing 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?

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