Charlie is my husband's very best friend in the world since high school. Ruben loves him like a brother. Maybe more, actually. Rube tries to get a hold of him a couple of times a year, usually around Charlie's birthday and the Holidays. Charlie sometimes calls on Rube's birthday. I haven't seen him since their 20th reunion when I was pregnant with Levi, who is now nearly 7.

Rube has always wanted Charlie to be a bigger part of our lives. To know our kids and celebrate and hang out with us. I understand Charlie's resistance, though. We are a non-partying family. We play board and card games and make delicious meals and go to bed at a respectable hour. This is not now, and has never really been, Charlie's speed.

Rube and Charlie's history has all those crazy stories that best friends just have from those wild years. There is a hitchhiking (in the wrong direction) story where Charlie came to rescue Rube. There is the "bug rolling" story. Tales of eating fast food meals and double-dip ice cream cones over the very windy Highway 17, all while driving a stick shift. A lifetime of memories, really.

At nearly 11:00 PM on Tuesday the phone rang. It was Charlie's brother, Robby. My heart sank. I was instantly hoping he was in jail or rehab.

He wasn't.

Charlie died in his sleep on Friday. He just didn't get up that day.

We don't have any details about the circumstances. Ruben didn't ask. Robby didn't offer. Doesn't really matter.

Ruben is wrecked. Ruined. So desperately sad. The reconciliation process hasn't begun. What does his life look like without Charlie in the world? I'm not sure Rube knows. I'm not sure he will any time soon. Despair is hanging around him like a cloud. He physically hurts from the loss.

And I can't do a fucking thing.

Today I will love my husband. Today I will love all of you stupid, crazy, irritating people. Today is all that I've got.


Momo Fali said...

Damn. I'm so, so sorry.

Chuck (disfordad.com) said...

It hurt to read that. I am so very sorry.

VDog said...

Oh, Erica, I am so, so sorry. Ugh. Let me know if you need any retail therapy or an emotional eating buddy. I do both equally well.


Gill said...

Life sucks sometimes.
I'm sure in time Ruben will relish those fun memories, and the good times he and Charlie shared ... but that's sometime down the road.
Take care and God Bless

Sharon said...

I am so sorry to hear that. At least you he has beautiful memories. treasure the memories and I hope things get easier soon.