Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Loving memories

The second date; Charlotte was still not too sure about me, but she did agree to a double date with Carl and Barbie. We decided to go to a movie. What movie I can’t remember, it didn’t matter to me, it was our second date and would be our last. (Remember, I had “rules.”) Back in those days you would go to a theater, with only one movie. I remember it was at the Palace Theater in Peoria. I don’t remember the movie, but what a night.
   This is how it started; I was cheap, so we got there a little early so I could park in the street close to the theater. It was cold, and the wind was blowing. You could see little snow trails blowing across the street. Right across from the Palace was a store with a recessed door way. The store was closed, so Charlotte and I stood inside the recess to get out of the wind and wait for Carl and Barbie. It was so cold, that even though she still didn’t trust me, when I opened up my coat she stepped inside of it and I put my arms around her to keep her warm. (I liked that.) From where I was standing, I could see a parking garage. (You know the kind that cost money,) as I looked across the street and saw a little short girl, with little short legs going 90MPH. It was Barbie. Carl was not as cheap as me and had paid to park. (I think Barbie was even shorter than Charlotte) But here is what else I saw. Behind her was a man, a big dude that kind of looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. He was running behind her with a limp. It looked like one leg was 6” shorter than the other. He had one arm up in the air, with his hand in the shape of a claw. It was Carl. I pointed and started laughing, Charlotte turned around and started laughing. When Barbie saw us she (still running) turned and saw Carl. Up came her purse and she started chasing Carl. Carl, his hand still in the air, keeping up the limp, started to run away yelling “help me, help me”. I laughed until I cried. All through the movie, every once in a while I would break into a laugh.
    But here is the problem, I couldn’t watch the movie because when we were together we had fun. And this was our last date. She could see something was wrong, so she asked, “What’s wrong?” I said “nothing”. It was right then that I decided we would go on one more date, nobody knew about the rules but me and so no one would know I was breaking the rules. I was relieved and the rest of the night was a blast.
Those were the day, and I thought they would never end…sounds like a song J

I don’t know why this is such a precious memory, but it is. Maybe it’s because it was the first time I put my arms around her. But I remember it like it was yesterday.

Day 30 and missing her more than ever.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

This is a list of questions I ask my self every now and again.
I just ran across it again today.
It’s been a long time since I’ve asked them to my self… and right now
I’m finding it very hard to ask them to my self.

1.What if this isn’t the end but a new beginning?

2. What if the answer to my prayer is just over the next hill?

3. What if this is necessary in order for me to be prepared for the next important chapter in my life?

4. What if God knows exactly what I need at this particular time?

5. What if God is speaking to me through means I would not have chosen for a blessing I cannot see?

6. What does this experience make possible?

7. What will I be tilling my grandchildren that I learned was so valuable in this season of my life?

The reason I’m having a hard time asking these questions to myself is, these question are the question Charlotte and I would ask ourselves when something was going on we had a hard time understanding.  And I’ve never had to ask them by myself before. And how I’m not so sure I like the questions so much anymore.

Day 28 and still missing her…more than ever.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Funny story about Charlotte
One day the sharpest and hardest pain in my abdomen, so I did something I never like to do. I when to the doctor. When I got there I couldn’t even sit down. I just keep pacing around the waiting room. He took me in a room checked me over, handed me a cup and said pee in the cup. I did and then just keep pacing. He said you have a stone we will take you to the hospital. I said I’ll meet you there got in my car and went. When I got there he gave me a shot of (dimmer all) for pain and so I could relax. And put me in a room. (This is the short story) I passed the stone in the bathroom by my self, but I caught it in the bottle they gave me. I screamed in relief. Nurse came running in, I turned away and said “excuse me” she said she was supposed to be there when I did this thing. (Right, no thanks).

So all that to tell you this. The doctor said now you can tell your wife you know what its like to have a baby, passing a stone is the equivalent of having a baby. So when I saw Charlotte I told her doc said, “Passing a stone is the equivalent of having a baby”. With out missing a beat she looked right at me and said “was it as big as a bowling ball!”
Me; lol  …day 21 missing her more then ever.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More About Charlotte

More About Charlotte

All I’ve written about Charlotte is true, but I left a lot out. Like her conversion. Her conversion was one of the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I’ll never forget it. But before I tell you about it I have to go back a little to what led up to it. Yes my dad said, “She’s the one”. He seemed to be able to see something. But the problem was she was not saved. Yes she had been to church a little. But I knew she was not saved, and that was a problem for two reasons. One, I was not a good person, certainly not a practicing Christian, so how was I going to be credible witness for God. And two, in a couple of dates I was done with her, at least that was the plan… Problem was, I kept taking her out… -Oh- and one more thing you should know; I had lost some teeth in a fist fight.”

One night I was sitting across from her at Neno’s and I could see her lips moving, but I could not hear her talking. And then I heard a voice (inside my head) say, “O my God you are falling for her” I felt fine, but my stomach started churning. I excused my self and went to the bathroom and begin to vomit. I vomited 4 or 5 times and flushed the toilet each time. I never felt bad, so I went to the sink to clean up and that’s when I noticed…no teeth, I had flushed my front teeth down the toilet. I couldn’t believe it. Well what could I do, I went back to Charlotte like nothing happened. Problem; Charlotte didn’t know I had false teeth. She immediately knew something was wrong; she kept trying to look in my mouth as I was chewing. And then I broke out laughing, and once again her mouth dropped open. And so I told her what happened and we had a good laugh… but I didn’t tell her why I was vomiting. (Remember the voice in my head)

  Now I had a real problem I was falling for her and Charlotte she was not a Christian and I would never get dad’s stamp of approval if she were not. And I wanted dad’s approval. So I thought, “this is the excuse I need to call the whole thing off”. So I drew a line in the sand, so to speak. If Charlotte didn’t become a Christian, I made a firm resolve; I would see her no more. Besides she was pushing the limits to see what I would put up with. And she had found out I had limits. And that being said, I thought she would be glad to see me go. And I would return to my carefree life. But this meant I would have to set a date, sit down and give her some sort the gospel presentation. I chose the next evening and told her I had something I had to say. And sat down in front of her couch on the floor in her front room. (I felt like Balaam’s ass at this point) How was this dumb donkey going to tell of Christ? Well I don’t know what I said, I stumbled and stuttered and said some words about Jesus Christ being God. (and both of us have said we wish we had a recording of that night)…
But this is what she said; first she stared at the floor, and then said “That makes sense.” That’s all, and that’s it. No sinner’s prayer, no nothing just “that makes sense”. The next day she had question, lots of question. Question I couldn’t answer. And I remember thinking “this is not what I sign up for”. All I wanted was dad’s approval and an Ephesians 5:22 wife. I didn’t know much of the Bible, but Ephesians 5:22, I was on board with that one.
(What are laughing about? when you were understudied you thought the same thing.)

So back to the questions, I couldn’t answer them so I did the only thing I knew to do. I took her to dad. Dad was delighted, no elated. All this did was deepen their relationship and caused him to love her all the more. And although it was not what I signed up for, as it turned out it was what I wanted… no, it was what I needed.

I had to start studying just to keep up. Funny how things worked out…I want you all to know I’m writing this with tears in my eyes…because I still need her.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013


She was the best! And I will always miss her, I will always love her and I will always hold her close. But I have wondered how much people would want to know. So I think I’ll write a two in one summery of her. One thing that has become apparent, and that is that even some of our family doesn’t know something that I thought they knew.

So here is the first part. There is no way to sum up Charlotte in just a couple of short sentences. But I could do it in one word, if there is one word that sums up my dear sweet wife it would be “FAITHFULL”. She was faithful to me, she was faithful to her children, but most of all faithful to her God. And I loved her for that.

The first time I saw Charlotte was my first day in High School. I was stunned. But we never had a class together, so I never got to know her. That was most likely a good thing, because I was not ready. But I remember telling Scott, “if I could have that girl, I would change”. So that ends the first part.

The second part started years later, I was 22 years old. I grew up with Carl Root. One day I went over to his house to watch a boxing match. We had made a bet.  As I came into the house I saw a brand new Camaro in the driveway. His wife’s best friend was visiting. That was the first time I had seen Charlotte since High School, and I was just as stunned as I was in High School. But never mind that, there was a boxing match on. I was throwing popcorn at the TV spilling coke all over and yelling at the tube. Just making a fool out of my self. I’m good at that. I glanced at her a few times, and every time I did she was looking at me with shear terror on her face. She was not impressed.

After the boxing match, I lost the bet, I turned to Charlotte and said, “Is that your Camaro in the drive”, and she said “yes” So I said, “ Want to get married?” You should have seen her; I wish I had a picture, that was a Kodak moment. I can still see her sitting there with her mouth wide open. And that’s how our relationship started. And no I’m not making this up, that’s how it happened. So sometimes I would tell people I won Charlotte in a bet. And sometimes I tell people I asked her to marry me the first time I talked to her. But the truth is I stood up and said, “just kidding” and I went home to my apartment in WardCliff Manor, in Peoria.

So the next day I called Carl’s wife and ask for “that girls number” she said, “no!, you scared her to death” but Carl was standing there and made her give it to me. She ask me to give her 5 minutes to call her first, I said “OK” (I lied) I dialed as fast as I could.
Charlotte answered the phone;
me “Remember the crazy guy you met last night”
Charlotte “YYeesss”…
Me “what are you doing Friday night”
Charlotte “I just got a new place and I’m having Carl and Barbie over for dinner; what are you doing” (she thought she blew me off, little did she know)
Me “I’m coming with Carl and Barbie”
Charlotte; (stunned silence )
I then ask Carl to meet me on the edge of town and I followed them to her house.
When we got there we had dinner, and then Carl went in the front room to make a phone call and Charlotte took Barbie to see the rest of the house. I was not interested in the rest of the house so I stood in the doorway waiting for Carl to get off of the phone. When he did I said to him, “isn’t it about time for you and Barbie to go?”... Little did I know Charlotte had walked up behind me, and heard me say that. I turned and saw her, and there she stood mouth wide open. (Looking back on it I can’t image how she felt) Carl told Barbie “lets go”…for the rest of the evening I was a perfect gentleman. We talked, watched TV and she relaxed. So I got up to leave, she walked to the door with me and I said, “lets go on a real date” I could tell she was not all that interested. But she made the mistake of asking what I had in mind. So I said, “Lets go to Neno’s Stake House”
Charlotte “Neno’s, OK”
She didn’t really want to go out with me, but she did want to go to Neno’s.

(Now here is where it gets interesting) I’ll never understand this.

I pick her up, an hour earlier then I meant to….I was excited … so in between  her house and Neno’s was dad’s house. I didn’t want to stand around Neno’s waiting for reservation, so I turned in to the lanes. She wanted to know what we were doing, and I said “we’re early so I thought we’d stop in at my parent’s house for a minute.” We went in, dad turned off the TV and turned to her and talked to her for 45 minutes. I couldn’t believe it… so it was time to go, we had a great night. And I took her home and I went home. (And now comes the part I’ll never understand)  The next morning my dad called me. (My dad never called me) and this is what he said, “Charlotte is the one” that’s it, that’s all he said. I couldn’t believe it, how could he know, I didn’t know. In fact I knew better, I knew I would go out with her one or two more times and that would be it. Yes she stunned me, but I had rules; one or two dates and move on. I didn’t want a relationship. But after the second date I thought “these are my rules, I can break them if I want” one more time won’t hurt. Besides I really liked being with her. And so I took her one more time and one more time and one more time and one more. Well I think you get the picture. Dad was right.

What are you laughing about, isn’t that the way all relationships start?

After that there are too many stories to tell, but I can tell you this, we looked at life as an adventure. Yes we had ups and downs, and yes there were some hard times. And I know Charlotte had faults, I just can’t remember what they were. God used that women to affect many. “Me included”. We looked to God for all things. And He led us. The one thing I’ve known is God uses means to accomplish his will. And the means He most often uses is people and in my life more than any other person He used Charlotte. She was my friend, she was my business partner, she was my lover, she was my wife…but most important to me was she was my soul mate. A woman can make a man and can break a man. I know; before now I’ve not told anybody about my darkest hour. When we were first married I worked at Cat. And she worked at Kroger’s. We were making a lot of money. 11 months after we were married she gave birth to our first son. We were so happy; it was like a fairy tail. We had agreed ahead of time when our first was born she would quit her job and be a mother. It’s what we wanted. We felt it was God’s will. And I still believe that. But little did we realize how quickly that conviction would be tested. Right after she quit I lost my job. How swiftly things changed. I couldn’t get a job. And one day I just gave up. I just lay in bed and wept, I had a wife and a child and I could not provide for them. You know what she did. She just lay in bed with me and just held me close all night. She didn’t say a word. In the morning I got out of bed and I looked at her lying there and looking into my eyes. And at that moment I knew no matter what, she was with me. And so I doubled up my fist, I rolled up my sleeves I walked out that door and when I came home I had a job! I could not be stopped… that the kind of woman my Charlotte was and I thought often of that time and today I tell you I will never forget that time. She never spoke of it again. She never shamed me. The reason I never told anyone is because I was ashamed of my failure, not her. She stood beside me no matter what.

And now I tell you there are too many things to tell, hundreds of stories, some good, some bad, some funny. But I can tell you honestly.
After 32 years I love her more today than I ever have.
                I love you Charlotte and I always will!!!
And I pray God “I know you have her in your arms and my simple prayer is this. Hold her and kiss her for me, and tell her I love her and I know she can not come to me, but tell her one day not so far away, I will come to her.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mom has passed away

Sunday night my mom had a sudden heart attack that took her life. It is sudden, shocking, and hard to believe. But we have no doubt that my mom is in Heaven, worshiping the Lord.
Our first day of not having a mother was spent with loving friends, who are taking care of our every little need. We can not thank them enough for everything they are doing.

Here are the arrangements.

Visitation and services will be held at McDonald Funeral Home in Centerville.
Visitation is at 6:00 PM on Wednesday.
The funeral will be at 11:00 AM on Thursday.
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