Dear Chuck

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Dear Chuck,
Geez. You have a way of sneaking into my life. No one asked me when I was four if I was ok with you being there, and no one asked me the other day when you showed up again.
It was a pretty miserable church service. It was supposed to be Celebration Sunday…a day where we all cheer for new life and commitment, fellowship with believers, promises made at the alter. But your song came on pretty early in the service and it sort of ruined me for the celebration.
Remember me.
Do I remember you? Oh yes, I most certainly do. Those words invade my brain and all I can see is a blurry ensemble of friends singing—through strangled voices—“remember me”
No one will ever forget you, Chuck.
Hard to believe that my husband has never met you, but even he won’t ever forget you. You’re a part of our lives. You are a part of my description of heaven to my little kids. They know Chuck’s up there, just like they know Peter, and Paul, and Jesus are up there.
You know my biggest regret in life is that we never went for the coffee you said we’d share? I thought I had a whole year to take care of that. Turns out I only had a couple of weeks. And I blew it. I would give a LOT to have that coffee. What an idiot I was to not call you up like you asked me to.
Do you know you were the only guy outside of my family that was truly a “brother” to me? I had a couple of friends say, “you’re my little sister, hill.” But you’re the only one I ever took seriously. Because we grew up like brother and sister. We fought like brother and sister. And I loved you with a furious, irritating, proud love that only a sister can have.
Yes, I remember you.
And I hate that after so many years it still hurts so bad. But at the same time, I’m glad that it does. It keeps me connected—this grief I have. What if I could go through life not hurting because you left us? Impossible.
 I’ve graduated high school, college, and almost. Gosh dangit, almost grad school. I’ve got a husband who I know you’d approve of, a daughter you could spin around—like you did Kirsty back in the day, and a son that is probably gonna end up as crazy as you were. I recently asked your mom if you were a character in a children’s book what you would be. She said you’d be a puppy that could fly. Sounds a lot like my Chaucer. I almost named him Charles.
“Chuck’s dead.” My mom said. Something cracked and crumbled when Mom said that. Nothing’s ever been the same since. I’ll never, ever, in a million years forget you, Chuck.  I’m glad you’re up there, hanging out with Jesus these days. I think you got the better end of the deal.
Tirzah’s gone. Mr. Trone and Mr. Brawner are gone. Yah, even Mrs. Robinson is gone. Has she put you in a time out up there? I hope so.
Gosh, Chuck. You and the rest of them make me long for heaven. I can’t wait. I am so excited to see you guys some day. We love you, Chuck. We miss you. We will never, ever forget you.
Do you remember me?
This post was inspired by a writing prompt over at Mamakatslosinit.com Head over there for some awesome writing and inspiration! 

10 thoughts on “Dear Chuck

  1. hilljean

    Sounds like Chuck brought a lot of light to a lot of peoples lives while he was here. You were all so lucky to have him, but he was lucky too…what a great life he had surrounded by people who adored him like you do.

    Reply
  2. hilljean

    Oooohhhhh! This made me both sad and happy. Seize every moment we have with our loved ones. I took this away from your letter. What a special “brother” it seems you had.

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  3. hilljean

    He lived life well. It was a very short life, but the fact that people can’t stop talking about him is testimony to his awesomeness. I miss him so much, but I feel like writing about him keeps him here with us. Thanks for reading!

    Reply
  4. hilljean

    Chuck will always remember you and I often wonder what the conversations are like around the dinner table in heaven. Joni Tada once said that earth is preparation for the work we will be doing in heaven and with some of the people we worked with while here on earth. Imagine the joy of being with Gevene, Bret, Mr. Brawner and the rest. I think back at when it all started with your mom and me, meeting for the first time in that blue station wagon, looking at each other and saying, “You want to homeschool together?” I still laugh at her courage of making me her friend but from that point on my life changed for the better. Your family and all the additions are wonderful. Love ya

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  5. hilljean

    I laughed out loud thinking about that blue station wagon! You ladies were crazy. I can’t imagine having the energy or gumption to attempt such a feat. But I thank you both for doing it. Those are awesome memories and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I like to remember Chuck and keep him in my life with his stories. I hope its ok that I share this with everyone. One of these days lets write a hypothetical conversation/scene of Chuck and the rest of them in heaven. Can you imagine?

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  6. hilljean

    You’ve put into words what all of us who knew and loved Chuck feel. Thanks for writing this even though it brings sadness to read it. But you’re right – the grief keeps us connected. Can’t wait to see him again – along with the other dear friends that you mentioned.

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  7. hilljean

    He had a VERY positive influence on all of us. I have nothing but sweet memories of Mr. Trone. One of these days I’ll share a story about him on here ???? I don’t want to ever forget these amazing people, and I want other people to know about them as well.

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  8. hilljean

    When you wonderful kids tell me how much my husband meant to you, it helps, in some crazy way, for me to make sense of it all. To know he had a positive influence on your guys’ lives and brought all of you joy just makes my memories even more special. Thanks for keeping the fire burning, Hill! I love you.

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  9. hilljean

    So much has happened over the years. Your post really made me think about all of the much loved people that we have lost over the years. Just think Hill, we will be with them all someday, with new bodies and no more Pain! hallelujah!!
    This was hard to read because I felt your pain and could relate to it, but I know you know that God has a perfect plan for each of us.
    You are so good at putting into words how you feel. Keep up the good work.

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