Uncle Charlie

The picture that currently heads this blog comes from this image:

This is a picture of my Uncle Charlie holding my oldest child at the hospital the day after she was born–that’s more than 19 years ago.  I treasure this picture because Uncle Charlie died just a few weeks ago of lung cancer at 64.  At his funeral my little cousin said to me, “He really was the best grandfather in the world.”
I say Uncle Charlie even though we weren’t related by blood.  He was my aunt’s husband, and they were in the process of divorcing when the above picture was taken.  But he was a big part of my childhood, and I never stopped thinking of him as my uncle.  He and my father were in high school together–they both graduated from Fulton High School–and we have moving pictures of them with my mother and her sister when they weren’t much older than that, goofing around in my grandparents’ driveway. 
Time’s a funny thing.  It certainly doesn’t seem possible to me that the above picture was taken almost 20 years ago, and I’ll bet it didn’t seem possible to Uncle Charlie that more than 40 years had gone by since he was a kid with a big smile goofing off for my grandmother’s camera, all his life still ahead of him.

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