It was an absolute pleasure to meet Charlie, and share memories of his parenting journey. At the time of our meeting, he was 94 and fabulous! Through our discussion it was apparent; Charlie’s life was based on the principles of honesty and hard work.
Charlie had five children, and he beamed with pride as he told me about each of them. An 8X10 picture was framed in gold and sat prominently on his top shelf. He identified the position of each child as he spoke of them.
Sadly, two of Charlie’s children had passed away. The depth of his sadness was something that will never leave my heart and clearly has never left his.
While raising his family, Charlie enjoyed a career as an elevator repairman. He attributes that career as having been a major positive influence in his life. Charlie previously had several labour-intensive jobs; the lumber industry was one example. He felt that having secured employment in the field of elevator repair was a “big boost.”
Charlie was very humble in expressing what made him a good Dad. He paused often, his moments of quiet reflection evoked emotion is us both.
I can only imagine the comfort, stability and guiding force Charlie was as a Dad. Even at 94, he had strength and a presence that emanated protection and love. I’m honored to have spent time with him. Together we uncovered his thoughts on fatherhood.
Charlie, “Be as good as you can for all your days.” Tip 4
In my parenting, I too tried as Charlie stated, to “be as good as I could for all my days,” (Tip 4). Of course, some days were better than others. I did always try, and continue to do so. What was clearly conveyed to me was the importance of trying, to always try.
Charlie mentioned in his final tip, “Don’t do anything so much that you influence the children.” Again, his humility rose to the surface as he explained he was not a perfect father. No specific indulgence was highlighted by Charlie, which I believe only added to the wisdom of his advice.
Although Charlie and I parented in a different time, and under completely different circumstances, we were more alike than different. Our methods may have varied; however, our intentions couldn’t have been more aligned.
I was proud to see our similarities, both then and now. His pride in his family sparkled from his eyes.
In closing our meeting, together we reviewed his section. I asked Charlie if he knew of the internet. He explained that he hadn’t. I did my best to inform him saying, “Kind of like the news on TV. The whole world can see your business.”
I asked if he would be ok with me sharing his “business” with the world. He said, “Sure, I have nothing to hide.” Then I asked for a picture.
I’m not sure if this was Charlie’s first selfie, but he was fascinated! It was really fun taking the shot and watching his intrigue.
I shared some family pictures and of course he couldn’t believe I had an adult child. He was sure to add that it was obvious Michael got his good looks from me!
Charlie’s closing remarks, statements we should all be so lucky to repeat, “I have done nothing in my life to be ashamed of. You can share whatever you like.”
Thanks Charlie for sharing a small piece of your journey with me, and the world. You’ll be forever in my heart.