Cousin Charlie, RIP

My cousin, Charlie Leslie, passed away last night and my heart goes out to his family. Charlie had been facing lots of health challenges for a long time, but he was doing much better up until yesterday. I am certain that his wife and children are heart-broken over his sudden passing, along with his mother, brother and sisters.

As children, Charlie (Bubba) and I spent time together out at his grandmother’s house in Bailey, a small town not too far from my hometown of Bonham. His grandma (my Aunt Millie) was a kind, gentle woman who made the best baked custard on earth, and loved all of us kids with her whole heart. Bubba’s family lived at least part of the time in a house near Aunt Millie’s, and I remember going over there to visit. Bubba’s mama and daddy had a houseful of kids, almost as many as we had at our house, and I remember lots of laughter there.

Thanks to Facebook, Charlie and I reconnected after a long period of time apart. We have little granddaughters who are almost the same age, and we would occasionally compare notes on how one or the other was progressing. I doubt if we would have agreed on anything politically, but we sidestepped those conversations so that we could create a bridge – our connection as family. I’m glad we did.

I know that Charlie was a great lover of nature. He often took sunrise photos and posted them online for all of us to see. In fact, he posted new sunrise pictures just a few days ago. I’d like to think he is now free of his earthly body and soaring among the eagles, his favorite birds.

May light perpetual shine upon your soul, Cousin Charlie. You can rest in peace with the knowledge that you are deeply loved by both your family and friends.

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