Photo of the day – 11


Left to right: Nancy (my aunt), Linda (my mom), Charlie (my uncle), Bob (my dad)
Only Nancy is still alive. My mom and uncle (brother and sister) both died in their sixties. My dad died at fifty.
This picture was taken at the wedding of Nancy and Charlie. They had such a healthy relationship. I hoped to one day find a connection that strong.
Charlie had a knack and love for starting businesses from scratch and selling them. First he opened a car wash in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He sold that, and then started balloon tours over Colorado. He sold that, and then started a chain of bike stores in Florida. He sold that, and then started Tour De France bike tours in France. He sold that, than began his most ambitious endeavor, the world’s largest sail boat. It was a sail boat cruise line. The boats were designed by Ferrari. This proved to be a very difficult task and he ended up selling it to a country before finishing it. I believe he sold it to Germany.
They moved back to Steamboat Springs, Colorado and he began a novel. I would try to visit them often, because they were so interesting and fun to be with. One time I went to visit them when I was 21 or so and I found out terrible news. Charlie and Nancy were divorcing after being together decades. Nancy had been having a long time affair. It really crushed me. It crushed everyone in the family. Their son took it real hard and had just begun driving. He totaled a couple of cars over a short span. One accident was very serious.
Their two kids were very mad at their mom, but I somewhat understood it. Charlie was a very caring and loving soul, but he was obsessed with work. When he was writing that novel I could tell that was pretty much all he was doing. I imagined Nancy just got lonely.
Though they divorced they stayed best friends. Charlie was really odd in this way. He held no grudges on people. He had no trouble being her friend or hanging out. It was a very smooth transition. Just about every time he would move, Nancy would move to the same neighborhood. He moved to Boulder and started a movie company; then he became president of the Denver Ballet Company; then he started a brewery with his son in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While living in Mexico I visited him. My mother had just died from ovarian cancer. He was battling cancer the same time she was, but had beat it.
Just days after I left Mexico he turned sixty. He e-mailed me to say he was coming into the states for a doctor’s appointment. The cancer had come back with a vengeance. He decided not to do chemo and started a very strict diet and mediation regimen. Soon it all took a turn for the worse and it didn’t take long to pull him down, just a few months.
Nancy, his ex-wife had moved to Plano, Texas. He moved into her house and she took care of him. It was clear at this time that they still both had an extreme love for each other. It was very touching to see how much they loved each other in his last days. You could tell that they both had, had several long term relationships after their divorce, that they both never loved another like they loved each other.
To end on a light note, I should tell you Nancy is the reason I can’t eat sausage links. Those who follow my updates know what that means.

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