Today would have been my brother's sixty-sixth birthday! He left us way, way too soon!
This picture was taken many years ago. Charles and CJ had gone on some vacation and got this adorable portrait!
When I think of Charles, I have many memories -- he was two years younger than I was so we were together a lot.
One fun memory was "twins." Charles was born exactly two years and one month after I was. When we were younger, I was a "tomboy" and played boys' games, not girls' games. Charles' friends were my friends.
We also looked quite a bit alike (a fallacy about boy / girl twins is that they need to look alike), so people would ask if we were twins.
Finally we came up with this story: "Yes, we are twins! But in first grade, Charles was struggling with school and was held back a year while I was promoted mid-term. To ease Charles' embarrassment, our mother told everyone that he was actually two years younger."
Non-believing friends then ran to our mother before we could warn her of the story. They asked if we were really twins; with a straight face and no knowledge of the story, she said "Yes!"
We went with that story for awhile until it got boring. Years later, while in high school, I was teasing some friends (non-related) that they had to have been twins. And casually mentioned that Charles was actually my twin! So the story went around again, until we got bored with it, again.
We did many things together, "twins" or not. When Charles was in Little League, back in Japan, the coach let me practice with the team (girls weren't allowed to play, of course) and I was allowed to sit on the bench during games --- kind of a mascot. Charles was a catcher (and a very good one, too) during his softball seasons. He played until he graduated from high school, in many different leagues.
I miss you Charles --- I miss your jokes, I miss your big heart! I love you!