Posted on January 18 2019
I hate even writing the word. It enters our lives with a jolt and slowly creeps into every area; leaving no stone unturned. Reluctantly, I’m guessing that each and every one of you knows at least one person, who’s life has been turned upside down from the “c” word. With a heavy heart, I write to you… I write to you with tear filled eyes and wet cheeks as I remember a man in my life that was taken too soon by that awful word. He wasn’t my grandpa, he wasn’t my father, he wasn’t my brother, but dangit—he was my friend. He was a grandpa, better yet, he was a ‘Grampy’, he was an encouraging father, a loving husband, and he was a good brother and son. His name was Charles, “Chuck”.
Although our time as friends was short, Chuck was one of my favorite people to be around. He knew not one stranger. In fact, Chuck was often known for helping anyone out, giving them his last dollar, supporting them when he didn’t have much, or picking up a homeless man walking off the street and buying him a hot meal. He could talk to anyone and he had the best stories and dad jokes all around. His face seemed like a beam of light and his light never faded. He trusted, until the end, that God would bring him through and over every hurdle he faced on a regular basis.
I watched and listened from the sidelines as my sister in law kept me up to date on the newest events with her dad. I watched endless tears fall down her cheeks. I watched her chin quiver as she spoke. I watched her try to be strong, countless times, by taking a breath to gather her thoughts and hold back her tears; collecting herself. I watched her get angry and wonder why her family, why her dad. I watched her question God and try to find some sliver of hope to hold onto. It’s difficult to measure a life or even understand the profound influence my sister in law’s father had on our family and with my nephew, Mason. It’s hard to put into words, let alone a short blog post, the amazing man that he was.
For one of Chuck’s last weeks on this earth, a few of us decided to get all his friends and family to send in videos to say their goodbyes. We had over fifty videos of friends, family, and even his favorite doctors—who expressed their love for him. THAT, was how much Chuck was loved, over an hour of beautiful footage of weeping, tears, goodbyes, and so so much love. It was one of the most beautiful things I could have ever been a part of, but at the same time, it was heart wrenching—because we never will understand why cancer exists and why it hits so hard, taking our loved ones so soon.
Chuck was a beautiful soul and his light is an inspiration to the rest of us here on earth. If we could only carry the light, the strength, and the love of our fellow neighbors that Chuck did, our world would be a beautiful place. Point blank, cancer sucks, and it’s all too real; but if we can hold each other a little tighter, love a little more ferociously, and remember that everyone is fighting some sort of battle, our world may just be a bit brighter, given the circumstances. Love to you all that may be in this journey.