Sarge Charlie had been a force in the Blogosphere for quite some time and he posted as he lived putting his patriotic beliefs and opinions out there for all the world to see. Not everyone agreed with his thoughts and opinions - which was to be expected - but even if you didn't, you had to respect him for standing his ground. I know I sure did.
As a young man, Charlie enlisted in the United States Army and dedicated the next 26 years of his life to his country. He served proudly and spoke often of his time in the military on his blog. As it turns out, Sarge and my Dad both served in Vietnam at the same time and as such, they were both exposed to Agent Orange at the same time. The insidious nature of the chemicals that they were both exposed to eventually took their toll on both men - taking my father way too young in February of 2003 after his own long and courageous battle against the cancer for which there is no cure - and claiming Sarge Charlie last Sunday, January 29th.
Both my Dad, the Air Force veteran, and Charlie, the Army veteran, fought hard to stay with the women that they loved unconditionally - neither one willing to give up a single minute of their time left on earth - but some battles just can't be won it seems and death eventually had its victory taking them away long before anyone was willing to let them go.
We've had almost nine years to try to get used to my Dad being gone but I get the distinct feeling that not a day goes by that my Mom doesn't miss him just as much as she did that wretched February day in 2003. Miss Bee hasn't even had nine days yet to get used to the fact that Sarge is no longer in the next room and my heart goes out to her knowing the rough road that lies ahead as she tries to adjust to being the remaining half of a whole.
That said, I don't for a minute believe that love dies or disappears with a final heartbeat or the closing of a casket. I believe that it lives on and always will as those who have loved us in life, continue to love us in death. As the song says,
"There are more than angels watchingI'm sure that Miss Bee believes just like I'm sure that my Mom believes and maybe - just maybe - that helps them get through each day just a tiny bit easier.
Over me ... I believe ... ohh, I believe."