I named everything Charlie when I was a little girl. I had lots of goldfish, they always seem to die quickly (I had a knack for killing fish) all of them were named Charlie, well, with an occasional Oliver. I named inanimate objects Charlie, like my ball in my jacks set, yes I played jacks and yes I gave a little red ball a name, that is how old/weird I am. I even named my imaginary friend that I had in the 3rd grade Charlie. It is true, I had an imaginary friend, maybe that is a little more weird than playing jacks. Anyway, he came in the form of a ghost one night (maybe it was just a light shining in my room, but to be nice to my little child-self we will say it was a ghost) and he stayed with me for awhile until he decided to leave, he was the nicest imaginary friend/ghost a girl could have.
Charlie, my favorite name in the whole wide world. My grandpa Charles Oliver was the reason why. My grandpa was an example of what unconditional love feels like. A World War II veteran, an artist, a businessman. My grandpa wasn't the friendliest guy to just anyone, actually most people in the little town in Illinois where he grew up were not very fond of him. He spoke his mind to anyone that was willing to listen, and also to the people that weren't willing to listen. Even though he was very opinionated and didn't agree with everyone else, he thought everything I did was wonderful, just about perfect, that is why I was so special. Not very many people received his love and kindness. He played with me, he took me to really cool places, he let me be whoever I wanted to be. "Bless your heart little doll!" was my very favorite saying. Any time I hear "bless your heart" (which is not very often) I get very emotional, and by emotional I mean, I cry like a little baby. I think I need my heart blessed a lot. Today would have been my Grandpa's 90th birthday. He would always say to me "Doll, the whole world celebrates my birthday!" He passed away 4 years ago around Thanksgiving. I still search for Charlie. I still search for that acceptance and unconditional love. If for some reason I have another boy, I want his middle name to be Oliver. I would name him Oliver because I would never want him to have to live up to the expectation I have for the "Charlie" that exists in my mind or my memory. I think that would be hard to do. Grandpa, we are still celebrating your birthday, bless your heart.