|This is Charles.|
Never in my lifetime have I heard Charles referred to as Charlie or Chuck, only as Charles.
I never got the opportunity to call him Uncle Charles, because even though he was my dad's younger brother, we never met. Charles died tragically in an automobile accident in his late teens, before I was born.
An 8" x 10" of the above photograph, in a gold metal frame, was a constant on the dresser in my grandma's bedroom. She spoke of Charles frequently and lovingly. It was a loss almost too much for her to bear.
A handsome kid that never became a man. Never married. Never had any children. Never had time.
Now that my grandma and grandpa are gone, and my dad has also passed on, who is left to remember the short life of Charles?
What happens to his pocket watch, his old wallet, his old report cards, his valentines and his photographs?
Sometimes I see old photos like this in antique stores, and I feel sad. I snapped these two photos this morning with my cell phone camera at my favorite antique and consignment store.
An adorable little boy and girl whose photos have made their way from family albums to sales inventory. I guess it happens.
But for now, I will keep the few mementos commemorating the short life of my Uncle Charles all together, in one place.
For now, Uncle Charles, your pocket watch and photos won't be sold as antique store inventory, and your school report cards, valentines, and Sunday School perfect attendance awards won't be thrown in the trash.
But, who will be our next family historian? Will anyone still think of Charles?