Monday, November 30, 2009

In memory of Charles

Having lost a high school classmate on Thanksgiving Day to a long fight with cancer, I am truly surprised at how much I've been touched by the loss of his life. That may sound a bit hard and even cruel, except please bear with me.

I hadn't really seen Charles in nearly 50 years and had only recently reconnected with him on Facebook. We reminisced on FB about having seen each other briefly, maybe 30 years ago, on an airplane departing Oklahoma City; that was the extent of our relationship, other than that of having spent growing up years in the same town, the same class activities, the same public schools.

Yet, the Facebook connection seemed to erase the years. I read with great interest and concern of his struggle with cancer - some through his telling briefly of it - and from another friend or two describing his fight against that dreaded disease. He was going into an upcoming series of drastic radiation treatments and he was on my prayer list for those treatments. Thanksgiving Day prior to his radiation beginning he succumbed to another un-cancer related illness - that being the final insult to his already weakened body. His sister thoughtfully had checked recent FB entries on his site and let me know of his death.

My thoughts have remained on the brief encounter through FB that Charles and I shared in just the past few months and even though I had not officially seen him in 50 years, how the act of remembering our shared childhood, looking forward to a 50 year high school reunion next July, and praying for him each morning had changed my life. Not in a profound, earth-shattering way, but in the way that reminds me that NO encounter with another person is wasted or left unremembered. The remembrance, the spark of recognition, may be deep, deep, deep in my brain, in my heart, in my soul and body - but it's there.

I believe that God places us here to fulfill the desire for human companionship and that it is God's wish that we do make connections with other humans that will make our lives and their lives and this mortal world in which we live into a tiny preview of the richness of our eternal lives to come. How blessed we are to have these connections and to recognize them even in brief encounters with a long lost schoolmate who is about to enter their eternal life.

I will miss Charles and am grateful to have even moments of his life touch mine. I know that many of you that read this post will have similar feelings. We will miss him when we gather next July and in our daily lives as we're reminded of our own mortality; I'm grateful for a renewed appreciation for the lives of friends and family that I see often and those I see not so often. May God's heavenly kingdom rejoice in the presence of their newest member, my friend, our friend , Charles Mugg.


  1. My prayers are for peace for your friend Charles and for you. Cancer has taken so many of those who have touched our lives.

    "Light has gone out but the door stands open."
    ~ Sophocle's messenger

  2. Your post is a lovely tribute to a childhood friend as well as a thought-provoking commentary on the importance of people who touch our lives only "for a season." The brevity of the time we interact with them often doesn't reflect the significance of their impact on our lives. I'm truly sorry for your loss and wish you God's peace.

  3. This is a lovely remembrance of someone who touched your life, no matter how long ago.

  4. because he touched your life, he has also touched mine. a beautiful tribute from an abundant heart. xoxox