I live among those who have made America great. If we truly want to ‘make America Great Again’, perhaps we should look at these lives. My neighbors did the honorable thing every day..they worked for a living. They completed every job to the best of their ability and they never demanded anything of anyone because they earned what they needed and were satisfied with the results of their labor. I have mentioned some stories they have told, but one stands out today. His name is Charlie and he is 94-years-old. Well over 6-feet tall, Charlie has had a rough life, but he never complains. Charlie walks with a cane (sometimes with two canes if walking is difficult). He has a walker, but somehow that indicates ‘too much’ assistance to him. He lost his wife a few years ago and his home health nurse determined that his living alone had gone long enough, so they suggested Colonial Village. Charlie was one of the first to welcome me and we’ve become good friends. He doesn’t talk much about himself, but loves to tell stories and some of his stories are startling. Charlie’s father died when he was three. His mother needed his help in caring for his siblings. He had difficulty in school due to poor attendance. It took him three years to complete the fourth grade and upon completion, Charlie left school and took odd jobs. He discovered a knack for construction and became much in demand in construction of oil derricks. Up until he was eighty, he worked for companies all over the world. Just to think about how Charlie refused to give up thrills me. Men like Charlie are the ones we should honor. They have lived the American Dream and contributed to society without complaint. There are a lot of Charlies here and I refuse to let the opportunity to tell their stories slip away. Life’s Lesson is to Learn to Earn and DO IT to the best of our ability. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

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