The Charlie Bravo Story

The Jude Bear

Strange occurrences aren’t something to which I’m unaccustomed, but this is a whole level of strangeness to which I’m not accustomed.

This page was started as a refuge from the bad news that seems to permeate social media, the improbable but true rags to royalty story of an effervescent bl black dog. Somewhere along the way the story morphed into more like that of a “family”, and I remember the catalyst that prompted this change: it was the story of Darling Nikki.

That wasn’t really her name, but she was sort of a wild child and an ardent follower of Charlie’s story. She was also dying of cancer, and lived vicariously through the tales of our trips out west. When other followers of this page found out about her story(I’m looking at you, Dianne), they rallied around her from all points on the globe. Darling Nikki eventually passed, but not before achieving legendary status by getting married on her hospital bed; that’s been four years ago, we never once met, but I’ll never forget her.

Somewhere along the way, Charlie’s page eased across the line into my page, much like how she ends up appropriating my side of the bed. Over the last five years, casual followers of Charlie’s story have become valued family members, although most of us will never meet face to face this side of the Great Divide. But somehow, it still seems “normal”.

So it just feels as natural as breathing to share the comings and goings of the Casa del Whackos, even in this time where everyone is terrified(justifiably) of identity theft, but isn’t that what family does?

And a big one happened yesterday, the arrival of Jude Beren, the Baby Bear. I’m still sifting through my feelings on this one. Old Appalachian singers from way back in the Smoky Mountains are known for singing with their teeth clenched shut, in the belief that if they ever fully opened their mouths, the release of so much emotion, be it joy or pain, would cause them to lose their minds. I get it.

So somehow it just made sense when I was updating people I’ve never even met of the impending arrival of our first grand burrito. While the hospital was using advanced security technology to check us in and out of the delivery area, I was blabbing to the world the proceedings like an idiot without a scare in the world.

I never claimed to be smart, but I am predictable.

The outpouring of “congratulations” from our extended family around the world has been awesome. Also humbling, exhilarating, inspiring, and a million other adjectives I can think of. Even Charlie is impressed, even though she’s always ready for the spotlight to get back to where it belongs, at least as far as she’s concerned:

On her.

We truly be of one blood, ye and I

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