We spend our whole lives trying to step outside of the box. Yet when our life is over we end up in the very thing we’ve been avoiding. Our bodies and our things end up inside that very box.
I spent the better part of my week down at the Ivy packing up and cataloging Charlie’s things. Tears fell when each box was carefully packed, tapped, and loaded onto the truck. This meant my friend was truly gone. To me Charlie’s life is more than a truck full of boxes. If you ask me it was to big to fit inside a box. An that is the kind of life I want to live.
The photos he left behind tell a story, his nick nacks are reminders of the trips he took, and the board games. Well those are a reminder of nights filled with whiskey, deep conversation, and never-ending laughter. Charlie’s condo was always filled with friends needing advice, a place to crash, and those who needed a quiet place to work on a brief. He never turned any of us away. For many of us Charlie was a safe harbor, he always listened first, never judged, and asked if you wanted his advice. Thats what I loved about him, he never forced his opinions on you. He’d tell me: “AJ life has a funny way of working things out. You just have to believe and once you do that, things will fall into place.” Charlie was right. I just wish he was here to see how happy I am and to see that things are finally falling into place.
Charlie always made sure I was ok. After all I was and will always be his brothers Amazing. He did everything in his power to make me smile and get me through the loss of his brother. Charlie stood by my side when I had a Staph infection, held my hand and almost puked when I had an angiogram. He was always there. Whenever I was sick it was a given that he’d be on the next flight. There will never be another man like Charlie nor will I ever have a friend who loved me as much as he did. He was and will always be one hell of man. An I am thankful that for a brief moment I got to call him my friend.
Charlie taught me to live a life outside of the box, to travel light, and love like I was dying. An that is exactly what I am going to do. I want a life that will never be able to fit inside of a box. One so beautiful that it will leave such a legacy in my wake that people will feel compelled to give back to society. To be an example of good will, unwavering determination, and one of survival. I am a statistic, a stroke survivor, and mostly I am one hell of a fighter. Giving up and I can’t are words I seldom say. I am capable of big things and one day I just might change the world. Charlie would want that for me.