Okay, today is a two-parter. First, my musings concerning August 20. Second, some Chuck memories to delight the masses.
Today is August 20, which in my heart and mind means…National Haircut Day. I’ll get to that in a bit. But first…
This is the day that I honor the life, the memory, the bravery of my beloved Chuck. I never know quite how to identify the particulars of this day. The day he died? No. The day he went home? Nah. The day he passed on? Nope. The English lanugage fails me. It is a day of great sorrow, great joy, great memories, great ache, great celebration, great defeat, but ultimate victory. I love that. I love that Chuck’s death cannot be defined in my mind. For better or worse, I miss they guy. I wish he were here to meet my amazing husband, Phil (whom he would FULLY approve of – so long as I kept the Tessier name on the down-low. No Frenchies for Chuck.) I wish he were here to celebrate the birth of my child. And yes, despite the fact that God has blessed me with a new life, a new beloved, and a baby, I miss Chuck…daily. Yes, daily. God says, “And the two shall become one.” The removal of one soul from another leaves quite a scar! Well-meaning folks often misunderstand that the death of a spouse is not something you get over when you remarry. Chuck moves forward with me through life. That Phil embraces this truth is icing on the cake. WE celebrate Chuck…because without Chuck, there would be no me…not the me that Phil knows and loves at least.
Anyhooo, the reason for National Haircut Day…Chuck went on a hair-cut/shaving strike during his 15-month hospital stay. I supported the man 100% in his rebellion, oft to the chagrin of others. Here’s the deal. The man lost control of almost everything…his legs, his lungs, his stomach, his intestines, his bladder. At times, he was not allowed to eat or drink. He was not allowed to stay still – he had to be turned…painfully…with the help of someone…every two hours…EVERY. TWO. HOURS. No breaks. So when he said, “I’m not cutting my hair or shaving til I go home,” I was on board. That’s my man!
Chuck was not a hairy man. Even after 15 months of not shaving, his hair wasn’t toooo bad. Okay, he looked a fright, but it could have been MUCH worse. His nurses could not decide if he looked more like Jesus or Jack Sparrow. Either way, that’s not a bad comparison. I think he was the perfect combination of the two…in more ways than one.
So, you know how the story ends. Chuck did not go home like we all had planned. Granted, he got a MUCH better deal. Alas, he left with long, shaggy hair.
After a year of grieving, God planted an idea in my heart. Rather than mourn on the anniversary of Chuck’s death, I’d celebrate his life and spirit…with a haircut…and invite my friends to join. The Brouses fully embrace this tradition, which only adds to my joy.
So here he is, the reason for the seaon. This picture was taken two months before his departure.