My friend Charlie lifted off from this planet and universe in the very early morning hours November 17th, in the arms of his wife.
By all indications, from the telemetry, the launch went smoothly without a hitch.
He soon touched down into another set of arms that were patiently waiting for him.
That touchdown also went without a problem, after all, he was caught by the Creator of the Universe.
This Creator, who so carefully designed time and space, in His infinite wisdom, made our universe so vast in size, that all the grains of sand on all the beaches on planet earth would not add up to all the sun’s in our Milky Way Galaxy.
To top that off, He made more galaxy’s in this cosmos that we live in, than all the grains of sand on our little blue planet’s beaches.
Wrap your head around that!
I would say, Charlie, is in very good arms and hands indeed.
A very proud Charley as he walks down the aisle with his daughter Mary.
Charlie knew this was the location he wanted to end up in when he took his last breath and many breaths in-between.
He has moved on from this boot camp called life, leaving behind a legacy of life that touched many people.
A wonderful wife and three precious children and grandchildren were his main contribution to this legacy.
Charlie was the Star Wars Mandalorian when it came to the Christian faith.
He was always ready to defend this faith and to spread the hope he had within himself when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
He knew where his treasures were stored.
Charlie was a huge success in this life by the mere fact of accepting Christ.
That alone is something that heaven celebrated beyond all measure.
I can just imagine when he touched down in his new existence, what he must have felt and seen with all his new senses.
All the things he read about and studied from church and the Bible came to life in an instant.
I wish I could have been there to see his face and soul upon meeting Jesus face to face.
I will soon enough in my own time, and most of all, in God’s time.
Charley presenting his daughter Mary to his new son-in-law, Josh, at wedding.
For the time being, I have been reflecting on the times, my family shared with the Atwell family.
What a historic life we celebrated together.
“Papa, papa, please help me” Charlie’s oldest son, Jimmy would cry out with a big smile on his face when he was small. “Shaun and Jason are picking on me.” Charlie would laugh as he watched his son fly through the air from one of my boys to the other, and always reply “I am not getting in the middle of those two. You’re on your own”
I imagine, my two sons picked on Mary and Jack the same way.
Mr. Atwell, was how I would address Charlie from time to time, loved to fish and he loved taking his family on these adventures to different lakes.
I took my small boat one time to one of these adventures, with my son Shaun and my wife, Monica, to Lake Mary in Northern, Arizona.
We wanted to catch something bigger from what you could hook into from shore. We left our wives sitting onshore waving at us.
After fishing for a period of time, a storm started to move in. The waves started to grow large and were lapping at the edges at the top of the boat.
Out of safety and concern, we dropped my son off on the other side of the lake to lessen the load in the boat.
Charlie and I were NOT small people, so this baby road low in the water, even in calm conditions.
By the time we made it halfway across the lake, Charlie and I were in some serious prayer and having a conversation with the Almighty.
To this day I still do not know how we made it with only a trolling motor for propulsion.
When we landed on shore, I thought I could see Charlie’s hand impressions of where he had squeezed the front of the boat on each side.
When he placed both feet on the rocky shore, he bent down and kissed the ground.
Big, bad, fisherman we both were.
Charley dancing his daughter Mary with his wife Susan dancing with Jack in the background.
There were many stories like that we all have replayed in our heads in our time with this interesting, creative, and funny individual called Charles August Atwell.
One of the best memories for me, was sharing his daughter Mary’s wedding with the Atwell family, friends, and relatives.
What a blast that was for my whole family, including grandchildren.
My daughter-in-law, Candace, and my son, Jason, took the wedding photographs that you see here on this blog.
My grandson, Zeke was the ring bearer and my granddaughter Fran Cesca was the flower girl.
It was a weekend we will never forget!
Our families were not perfect by any means, and if it were not for forgiveness that our Christian Faith believed in, and Jesus made the forefront of His message, I have no idea how our families would have survived.
I think the restoration of the rebellious human spirit is God’s greatest miracle He can perform.
With everything else in the universe, God can just breathe into existence, material things out of nothing.
He is the Word!
The Atwell Family. (from left to right) Charley and Susan in front. Along the back, Jack, Jimmy and Mary.
When it comes to us humans, it’s a different story when you consider freewill in the mix of our existence.
God is the perfect gentlemen and will not go unless He is invited.
What patience He has for the human race and us as individuals.
He keeps setting up scenarios for us to connect with Him over and over again.
Some are very hard scenarios that are absolutely heartbreaking in the human mindset, but God will use everything in our lives to bring us to Him.
Eternity is in the balance.
Most people will not embrace God throughout their lifetime which is very sad, and I can only imagine how God Himself must feel.
We did not have this problem where Charlie, me, and our families are concerned.
As it says in John 14:6, our families have all embraced The Word, The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
See you soon my brother, save a spot for me.
Do not forget the lunch date we made to have in heaven, out on one of many planets in the universe, and we can watch as a distant sun goes supernova.
Charley with his wife Susan, my wife Monica and me (John) after one of the many photo shoots we shared every year at the Salvation Army Christmas event in Phoenix.
He loved doing this event and got so much joy bringing happiness to people less fortunate with the gift of a family portrait.
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