Yesterday it was released: the video of Charley’s memorial.
Of course I wanted to watch it again. Why? Because I know that I’ve been avoiding feeling the sadness of his departure and watching the memorial again (specifically the slideshow of snapshots of his life) help me to be honest with myself.
I don’t presume that you’ll have time to watch it in its entirety, so allow me to sum up:
- The slideshow begins around the 5:30 mark. Charley selected the music himself. It truly overwhelms me to consider the great scope of his life, what a content and silly man he was. The pictures that make me choke up the most are the ones of his and Momma’s wedding and the one of him fishing with Donovan. Towards the end of the slideshow, you’ll see Charley sitting with Donovan, Olivia, a pup on his lap and another boy to the left, Narek. What you might not know – and what I find truly unbelievable – is that this entire year, in addition to everything else the family has been dealing with, they’ve also been hosting an Armenian exchange student. He, Narek, was also camped out in the living room when we were gathered ’round Charley’s hospital bed. Quite the American experience, huh?! Wow.
- My brother, Joey, begins speaking at the 21:30 mark (I love the 28:50 mark). I highly recommend watching this. It’s deep, it’s simple, it’s light, it’s surprising and it’s honest. One of Charley’s last words were, “Tell Joey he can say whatever he wants.” Charley knew. He knew Joey’d be the best one for the job. (He speaks for about 25 minutes.) I’m fairly certain that the pastor had to edit what he was prepared to say after Joey “hit it out of the ballpark.”
- Yes, that’s me sitting in the front row, bright yellow scarf wrapped around my neck, bebopping for Bennett, hair standing on end.
Here ya go: