Monday, June 7, 2010

Charlie


SOMERSET, NEW JERSEY - The original premise of this event was that I was set to speak to a group of Lutheran ladies. Always a great crowd, sweet and receptive, kind and accepting. Just perfect. I like talking to people; it helps me to feel like I am making a small dent in the world. And the more funds we get, the sooner we get a cure.

So tonight I meet Charlie.(Name changed to protect, um, everyone). Charlie heard that I was speaking at this little gathering and came, on purpose, just to hear me. This is kind of a first for me, usually people have no clue who I am. Just that woman who is really too nervous to eat during the dinner, that kind of thing. But Charlie heard me before, someone had sent him a recording. He said he’d listened to it at least 5 times, and wanted to hear me in person.

I talk, I finish, I thank everyone for coming. Charlie comes over and tells me his story. His wife of many years just passed away from breast cancer a few months ago. Charlie is crying. I am crying. The lady standing next to Charlie is crying. Basically, we are all a hot mess. After a few minutes of this, Charlie just looks at me. He takes both hands, and holds my face in his hands. He says “Thank you for what you are doing. God Bless you. Stay well.” Then he walks away from me, I’m still crying.

I’m so sorry, Charlie, for your loss. I wish that someone as sweet as you could have had that lady who must have been so wonderful for a bit longer. I wish the same for my dad, who lost his wonderful lady too early as well. And Ham, and Bunnie's husband, and about 48 other men I’ve met. I hate that they are gone from your lives, hate that I was denied the opportunity to meet them. But I do love the fact that I’ve gotten to meet you. And Ham, and Bunnie's husband, too. God has blessed me, Charlie. And I will do all I can to stay well. xoxo