In Remembrance: Charleen, My Forever Friend
A Healing river
Charleen was a good friend for many years, who supported and cared for me and my family in unforgettable ways. We lost touch over the past few years, as Charleen moved into the twilight of her life. I did not get to say goodbye to her. So, this is my tribute to a great, loving, Christian woman.
...like a quiet summer’s morning,
always greeting you with a warm,
...like a morning robin,
always sending you a song,
for your heart.
...like a healing river,
always washing over you,
...like a soft hand,
always knowing where it hurts,
a healing touch.
...like a cool, starry night,
always lighting your path,
loving, caring, helping,
smiling, serving, sharing,
singing, laughing, praying.
with a word,
always a friend,
to the end.
© 2012 ajwrites57
Coffee with Charleen
A Visit with Charleen
We’d spend the night when we’d visit, which was every few months. We’d come after dinner and sit and chat for an hour or two to catch up on things. We’d discuss family, friends and her church.
New linens would be on the bed in the guest room and an extra blanket or two. (Charleen knew my wife would get extra cold at night.) We’d get ready for bed and take turns using the upstairs bathroom. Sometimes I’d stay awake for awhile and watch the news or a religious program before I went to sleep. As I lay awake in bed, passing traffic could be heard through the window. Her house was comfortable and peaceful, as I drifted off to sleep.
In the morning, Charleen would be awake already—even had her prayer time. My wife would get up before me. Charleen’s pleasant voice and gentle laugh would mingle with my wife’s. I‘d lie there and enjoy the rise and fall of their conversation. Not really hearing the words—just taking pleasure in the sound of their exchange. Eventually I’d roll out of the cozy, warm bed.
They’d already be eating a well made country breakfast of eggs, bacon and wheat toast. Usually, she had a pie or a cake of some kind ready for us, too. I’d get mine as they continued talking, calling me a sleepy head. Charleen and I’d have coffee; my wife would drink orange juice.
We’d talk on and on and I’d take the dishes from the table and wash them quickly. Moving to the living room we’d continue catching up and discuss visits that had been arranged with other friends.
As the sun rose higher in the day, Charleen’s big bay window would bathe us all in bright, sunny light. We took great pleasure in each others company. Her TV console doily-laced top would be filled to the edges with photos of her family—her daughters and their husbands and her grandchildren. Any new photos were talked about in great detail. She loved her family!
Close to lunch time I’d ask Charleen if it would be okay to take a shower. She said of course! If I hadn’t brought them, she’d hand me a towel or two. I’d head down the basement steps to the shower. The little bathroom was heated by a small gas-lit space heater. On colder days, Charleen would light this ahead of time so it would be warm for me. As I finished my shower, I’d turn and read the words on the painting she had hung over the toilet. Next to a naked cherub of a baby holding a roll of toilet paper the text read: “No job is complete until the paper work is done.”
We’d continue our visit with Charleen and dinners and lunches and prayers with other friends. Hospitality was a great part of Charleen's life and we loved visiting and enjoyed her gift.
© 2013 ajwrites57
A Robin's Song
In Memory of Charleen
This poem is written in memory of my friend, Charleen. She was a caring and loving person, admired and respected by all. Full of good humor, she was always ready with a smile and kind word. Charleen was especially a comfort to those in times of trouble.
We will miss her so very much!
How often were you able to say goodbye to a loved one before they passed away?
© 2012 AJ Long