I have often said that one person can make a huge difference in the world and I am not alone in that thinking. It is not an original thought or phrase but this past week I came to see first hand just how true that statement is.
Many of you who follow me on social media already know that our sweet Carlton Scott Chiles, Chris’s brother, passed away from his earthly life and entered the arms of Jesus on March 21st, 2019 at 10:05 pm. His sister Colleen, brother in law Bryan, Chris and I were by his side as he took his final breath. His long struggle was complete and his body which had failed him in the past couple of years was no longer a stumbling block. As we wept over his body we realized that our lives would never be the same. It was not lost on us that he passed on World Down Syndrome Day.
During his final days there was a parade of people coming to see him to say goodbye. His last days were spent at Lima Rehab and Nursing Center and they were simply wonderful with him. Health care workers who made a special trip in on their days off wept by his bedside and recounted numerous stories to us of how he had touched their lives. This from a 49 year old who really was not at his best the past couple of years –who struggled with Alzheimer’s along with other issues and was just not the Carlton of the old days. But still – he touched lives and made an impact on others.
I know that every one, every life, has value. I know that. But this past week I realized even more that each life touches so many lives over the span of a lifetime. Judging from all of the wonderful comments both on Facebook and in the guest book online from his obituary we really had no idea of how much he meant to so many. You can read his obituary and view and sign the guest book here.
I have written about Carlton so often on It’s Just Life over the years and my readers have come to know him through my eyes which has been such a wonderful thing. I had a “gorgeous idea” (that’s a Carlism) and had my readers send him cards after a move to an assisted living home. It was simply amazing how many cards he got as a result. I was so grateful.
So this week I am devoting to Carlton memories and will simply be reposting a few posts from the past years when Carlton was the focus. It seems right. As I have been looking through pictures from the past few years I have been moved by how often we were able to see glimpses of the old Carlton in his smiles and mannerisms. We have so many Carlton stories and phrases – they could fill a book. What a blessing to have been loved as much as he was loved by so many.
Carlton’s Celebration of Life will be March 31st and I tell you – I know he is celebrating in heaven. And maybe even with Buddy.