I Knew A Man

I knew a man named Charles. I didn't know him well. Whenever our friends, Chris and Laurie, would have parties Charles was always there. He was kind, soft spoken, and loved music. He gave music lessons, and I can remember him sitting down at the piano and playing "Rhapsody in Blue" one night after telling him how much I loved Gershwin.

When I first met him we were all just kids. Chris and Laurie weren't even married yet. He was a groomsman at their wedding and even composed a trumpet piece for them. Of all the people we didn't know well at parties, Charles was always the one I most felt comfortable sitting down and talking with. Bill recognized him being interviewed on the news a few months back after witnessing a robbery.

And that was the last time we saw Charles.

This morning as Bill was checking a rarely used email account he found an old email from Chris telling us that Charles had been killed in an auto accident on November 12th. Naturally at first this made me very sad. Even though we hadn't seen Charles in several years, Bill and I always had a special place in our hearts for him.

I was also reminded of how short our time here really is no matter how it ends. I never dreamed as I spoke with Charles several years ago that he would die young and in a most tragic way; never knew when I was 16 years old traveling cross country with my older sister that she would be gone before she was 60, about 20 years after my Dad had died from the same illness.

When you're young you don't think about things like that. As you grow older it seems you are reminded of them all the time. I'm sure you all have your own stories to tell, but the thing to learn from it is this: Never forget to tell your friends how much you appreciate their friendship. Always tell your family how much you love them. When looking at your own life and the challenges you face remember to live like there is no tomorrow - because there may not be.

One more thought before I go: Sometimes when you don't even know it you touch people. Sometimes they are people you know. Other times they aren't. Make sure they remember you the way you would want them to remember you.

2 Responses
  1. Nancy Says:

    I'm glad you were able to know Charles at least to the extent that you did. He played beautifully...

  2. Kathy Says:

    I'm so sorry you lost this person, but so happy for you that he shared your dance space! Beautiful pianist! xxoo

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