Today I mourn the loss of a very dear childhood friend, Charlie Evers. We go back all the way to 2nd grade at Marshall Elementary School. Looking back I see us along with all of our classmates running on the playground, talking about what we were going to do after school and watching the clock for the lunch bell to ring so we could get to the school cafeteria to eat those gigantic cinnamon rolls. We were all so carefree, full of life, full of energy loving every minute of our childhood years. Charlie, with his blonde curly hair was always trying to make us laugh. I can still see him and Eddie Hawkins in their Sunday best at the 6th grade graduation. I remember sitting in Mrs. Johnson's 6th grade portable on the last day of school before summer vacation and listening to Alice Cooper's record "Schools Out for the Summer". We were headed to Junior High School. We were so cool!
During the junior high years Charlie and I didn't see each other much, he went to Whitten Junior High School and I headed to Peeples. However, our friendship was rekindled in the 10th grade when we arrived at Wingfield High School for our Sophomore year. Charlie was my buddy. He was my encourager when I was down. He was a shoulder to cry on when I thought my world was crumbling. He confessed to me that he had carried a long time crush on me since the 2nd grade and was trying to forgive me for rejecting him when he wanted me to be his girlfriend back then. I laughed, he laughed and our friendship continued. Just friends. He gave me the nickname "bouncer" during my junior year. I was practicing high kicks with the Genteels in the hallway in sock feet (that was dumb) and my feet slipped out from under me as I threw my leg up in the air and Charlie came around the corner just in time for me to bust it! He never let me forget that high kick!
As we reached adulthood, Charlie would mentor me with so much wisdom and truth. He would remind me of God's awesome love that was bigger than anything I could imagine. He helped me to understand that even when I didn't feel worthy that God saw me as His child. I looked back at a message he sent me not too long ago.....it gave me peace then and it gives me peace now......"Let the peace of Christ reign and rule in your heart. Life circumstances alone regardless of the joy will never render peace. At the realization of pain, doubt or confusion remember, "His Grace is sufficient" pray for and rely upon His wisdom and peace. Remember Shellie, discernment is a gift of the spirit of Christ.....claim it and wait on an answer" Wow - so glad I have this to look back on.
Through Charlie's death, I am reminded just how quickly death can knock on our door. Charlie was way too young. I am still sitting in shock as I write this trying to let it sink in that he is gone. We aren't promised tomorrow. Even in his death, Charlie has once again given all of us something to think about. Our days are short. Make the most of them. Love God and love people. We have no way of knowing when our time will come to depart this world and stand before our God.
I can't begin to imagine what Charlie has experienced by now in heaven. He is in the presence of His maker and creator, seeing Jesus face to face. Seeing his mansion that was prepared just for him. Walking the street of gold and seeing all the saints. Talking to Noah, Moses and Abraham. Seeing his family members who have gone on before him. No more sorrow, no more pain. Living for eternity in the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That picture gives me comfort. I hope it comforts those of you that knew him as well.
Until I see you again Charlie......Rest in Peace.