Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My daughter, Charlotte

Verla Hall, Charlotte's mother is the author of this post.  Verla lives in Wendell, Idaho with her husband John.  They are the parents of nine children who have all grown and begun families of their own.

Charlotte Elaine is our fifth child and first daughter. We decided to name her Charlotte, after her Welsh great grandmother, Charlotte Morris; and Elaine, after her English great grandmother, Elaine Hobbs. The baby books say that the name, Charlotte, means “strong woman.”  The name, Elaine, means “bright light”. We didn’t know at the time how well the names would fit our beautiful daughter.

As Charlotte grew, she began to show her strength of character and her willingness to work hard at any job that needed to be done. She worked with her brothers to milk our small herd of dairy cows morning and evening. One summer she painted the entire outside of our two-story house by herself. Several years ago, she decided to tile the kitchen and bathroom of her home in Logan. She had never laid tile before, but she studied the job out, asked questions, and worked hard to lay each piece of tile perfectly. Then she laid wood flooring in her living room. The floors are a delightful addition to her home.

Charlotte lights up the lives of those around her. A number of years ago, just before Charlotte left to move to Logan, she decided to put a black rinse on her hair. It was supposed to wash out after a couple of shampoos. It never did. As her hair grew, her blond roots formed a golden “halo” above the dark hair. Her husband, Les, says he fell in love with Charlotte because he had never before met anyone who had an actual physical halo.

Charlotte’s spiritual halo shows as she teaches those around her. Each day when she returned home from Kindergarten, she would sit down with her younger brother and teach him everything that she had learned that day. She taught him so well that he learned to read before he entered Kindergarten. She loves to read long stories to her two small boys. For Charlotte, the biggest disappointment in her battle with cancer is that she will not be able to be with her Special Education students at Thomas Edison Charter School this fall.

When Charlotte was a toddler, her grandmother worked at the JC Penney store in Rexburg, Idaho. Her grandmother often walked by the rack of cute little girl clothes and wished that she could afford to buy them for her granddaughter. Then the Teton Dam broke, and water rolled through the streets and buildings of Rexburg. The weight of the water collapsed the floor of the store and all the merchandise washed into the basement.

When the clean up began, the manager of the store allowed the employees to salvage what they desired of the ruined merchandise. Grandma knew exactly where to find the little girls’ clothing. She waded through the rubble and dug through the mud until she found what she wanted. She took the clothing home, washed it, and packaged it up to send to Charlotte. Her grandmother found something beautiful in the midst of a disaster, and used it to bless the life of her granddaughter.

Charlotte is so grateful for the kindness and generosity of her friends and neighbors. With tears in her eyes, she talks about her dream of getting well so that she can help others as she has been helped. Like her grandmother, as Charlotte wades through the calamity of cancer, she is looking for something beautiful that she can use to bless the lives of others.

Charlotte is truly a strong woman and a bright light to all.

By Verla Hall


Patty said...

This was so fun reading and seeing the pictures. I will agree completely that Charlotte is a strong woman and a bright light to us all.

Lotte said...

I was lucky to have great parents.