Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Ms. Charlsie

We have lived in our house for almost 18 years. After we had been here a couple of years, there was a knock on our door one Christmas eve morning. It was a little man in his late 70's, maybe early 80's, wearing a pair of overalls. He walked with a bit of a limp. He was carrying a jar of walnut kernels that he had handpicked and cracked and gifted me with it. He introduced himself as "Hardy Huddleston" and told me he lived down the road from us and wanted to wish us a Merry Christmas. What a sweet man!!

When David got home that afternoon, I told him about our visitor and Dave, born and raised an Arkie, in true Arkie form, went straight to the freezer and got out a roast of some kind and ran it up the road to our newfound neighbors. So began a beautiful relationship.

We began going to visit them in the evenings. Oh, how I loved to hear them tell stories about when they were young. When they married, Charlsie was 16, almost 17 years old... so young. They never had children, but they had so much love for each other and they love their neighbors.

David especially developed a bond with them. He used to go visit or to help Hardy with yard work... many times I'd drive by and they'd all three be sitting on the porch for story time.

Then when Hardy was diagnosed with a heart problem, Dave started doing as much as he could for them. But, not long after Hardy's diagnosis, he passed away at his home.

Charlsie lost the love of her life. We lost a dear friend.

Charlsie is 89 years young now. She'll be 90 in December. She is sharp as a tack and remembers just about everything from her youth. I love to get her talking!!

She has some health problems of her own now and we value what time we have left with her. David lost his mother 12 years ago and his father 2 years ago, so Charlsie has become like a mother to him... and I think he is like the son she never had. He checks on her nearly every day and they have had a (huge) garden together pretty much every year since Hardy died... Charlsie loves to spend her mornings in her garden. She also has a Rat Terrier dog, Sweetie, that keeps her company.

During the long winters and in the heat of the day during the summer, Charlsie likes to read. She is quite a reader. I bring her books from our church library and it takes her no time at all to get through a book.

Tonight, after church we stopped at Sonic and got her a vanilla ice cream and took it to her. She loves vanilla ice cream. We visited for a while and tested out the self-timer on my camera (a first for me).

I wish we had taken the time to introduce ourselves long before Hardy took the first step with us. They are a part of a precious generation that is leaving us all too soon... and knowing them has truly enriched our lives.


Kelly said...

That is really sweet that ya'll watch out for them. David is so sweet to do so much for them. I know it has meant the world to them - especially if they don't have children.

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh, that is so sweet. I love to talk and visit with the older generation I've always worked with. I will have to start writing about times in the nursing home and hospice. It's sad people don't take the time to get to know people anymore. I really enjoy reading your blogs....

Leigh Ann said...

This is so sweet, Jacquie! I'm sure your friendship and companionship has meant the world to both of them, especially Charlsie now. I agree that they are part of the "greatest generation." I truly believe we (our generation) could learn a lot from them. I love all of the pictures, especially the ones of Charlsie and Sweetie and the one of the three of you.

The Garners said...

This is so very neat. I know she must love your company and appreciate all that you do for her. Mom has a similar relationship with Mr. & Mrs. Alexander. They are so sweet. It's sad to me though that they don't have children to check on them and help care for them. They are from a neat generation when things were so different. Will you put together a 90th birthday party for her--maybe have lots of vanilla ice cream!?

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

This post made me smile. You guys are so sweet, and I know she just loves you guys! My husband pastored a small church right out of seminary, and my favorite thing in the world was to "go visiting". All the little ladies would serve us dessert and would beg us to stay longer. They were so lonesome, and would tell us how much our visits meant to them, but honestly, the blessing was all mine!

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