A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of friends. Over the past week I’ve felt this as much as ever before. I rarely use full names, but I will this time.
Over 44 years ago I met Charlie Andrews. He quickly became the brother I never had (and his dad became much closer to me than my own). Our children grew up together attending school and playing sports. Our wives were close friends and we spent many evenings together enjoying each other’s company.
Charlie and I shared a love for the outdoors, particularly for fishing and hunting. We hunted and fished together all over Louisiana, co-owned a commercial duck club in south Louisiana (quit laughing – someday I’ll tell the story of Cajun Country Duck Club). Trips to Canada, Mexico, Honduras and Bolivia brought many favorite stories.
But my friend wasn’t just a hunting buddy. I had the privilege of caring for his family, his children and his parents. Our family times brought about more stories. The favorite of my children and nieces was at my son’s wedding in Georgia. Somehow after the wedding Charlie got back to the hotel before I did. When I went down to meet everyone in the bar, Charlie was already there with all the wedding crowd having assured the wait staff that I would be picking up the tab for everyone. How he loved that!!
For many, many years until life and age got in the way, we spent a lot of time reminiscing together; unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to see each other much lately. Last week Charlie’s wife Marsha called to tell me he had passed away. I just came home from his funeral. Charlie would have loved it! We met to celebrate his life in a small, very old church in their little town. The church overflowed, all there to remember a life larger than the town, well-lived and well-loved.
I have told you before, that I am a blessed man. One of those blessings is having been Charlie Andrews’ friend.
Godspeed Charlie Andrews.
Beautiful remembrance Dr Fleming. Glad you & Debby attended the service.
Wow, I know you have been blessed!!! Charlie and his family blessed by your friendship too. As Iron sharpens iron…our best friendships never end we one day meet together at His feet. John 14:1-4