Aleena, Charlie, Holly, Andrew, little Charlie, Brandon, Teresa
Charlie and I raised our family to be honest, to give, and to talk about EVERYTHING, no matter how hard it was. It was important to us to teach our kids to be independent, to stay close, and to speak up for those who couldn't. We wanted them to find a career that would make them happy. We didn't want them to struggle the way we did in the beginning. We wanted to start our own traditions with them, and we did the best we could to be parents they would be proud of.
Watching Charlie grow as a father was something I can't explain. Only a wife and mother would understand that feeling. It's like you immediately love them in a different way.
Charlie absolutely loved being a father. He didn't mind helping with diaper changes, cleaning vomit, taking turns with appointments, and helping with homework the night before a project was due. He was so sentimental and saved EVERYTHING the kids gave him: little things from plastic gum machine rings to scribbles on paper. He was also that father in the crowd who would proudly point out which kid was his and had a tear in his eye for all of their accomplishments. No matter what they did, Charlie was proud of them.
Charlie taught Holly and Aleena the way girls should be treated. He told them, “When you’re old enough to date, like when you’re 40, he’s not the one if he doesn’t make you feel like the prettiest girl in the room.” When they talked about being married when they grew up, he would tear up just thinking about walking them down the aisle. I never thought Charlie wouldn't get the chance to walk either one.
Charlie was also tough on Andrew, little Charlie, and Brandon when it came to respecting girls. He was adamant about opening doors and always paying for everything on a date. His famous line to the boys was “When you look at a girl, remember that she is someone’s daughter. Think about your sisters and how I would want them to be treated.”
Charlie melted if the girls cried or the boys had their hearts broke. He was so easy to talk to and could always make them smile. He was involved in every part of their lives and had a special bond with each of them. Charlie wasn't only an incredible husband, he was an amazing father to our children.