The story of rap and how Charles taught me to appreciate it

“If you’ve got something good, you better respect it
Hold your world and protect it
The only thing guaranteed in life is death
And everything looks sweeter when you haven’t any life left”

– Charles Aubrey Rogers

This one is the hardest for me to watch but I feel it reflects his creative genius the most. My opinion, as everyone has their favorite. As you will hear why, I lose it every time I listen to it. It is definitely dark but a portrait of a beautiful, tortured soul.

“Crap rap” as charles called it is not real rap. That’s Read more...

Charles and Sandy Hook. Letter to God

I remember thinking that Charles didn’t pay any attention to the news.

I was wrong

It was after Charles’ suicide when his friend Max from Wasatch Academy, the high school from where Charles graduated, sent me this video which I had never seen. In it you will hear exactly how a depressed kid thinks. How they take on the world’s problems and see themselves as such flawed human beings.

He was deeply touched, angered and saddened by the Sandy Hook shooting. Much more than I thought.

Charles had many gifts but the untreated depression that he thought he could “manage … Read more...

What I miss most about Charles

charles aubrey rogers

I miss that beautiful curly hair and his sense of humor. I miss his tall, skinny hugs and the way he altered his voice when he greeted his dog, Andy, and the dog’s reaction of pure joy. I miss the way he smiled with his eyes.

I miss the conversations we had in my office. Those days he’d come in after school, sit in his Dad’s chair and talk. He would tell me the stories that touched his heart.

To Charles, everybody mattered.

Their stories mattered and he was never too busy to listen and connect. As smart and talented as he was, this … Read more...

Join us in Richmond VA for Out of the Darkness Walk #suicideprevention, #TeamCharlesRVA

AFSP Out of the Darkness Team Charles 2017 is here.

Join Team Charles for the AFSP (American Foundation of Suicide Prevention) for the Out of the Darkness walk on September 17, 2016.

If you can’t walk, consider a donation. Any amount is fine.

Charles Rogers was my son that died by suicide June 5, 2015. He was 20 years old and suffered from depression and addiction. I would ask that you please donate at least $25 for the walk. But if you do not have that, just come walk with us anyway!

Walk Date: 09/17/2016
Walk Location: Deep Run … Read more...

Would I do it all over again?

charles-aubrey-rogers
Charles, the one who died, on the left. Richard on the right.

“Let go, emotions flow, let it show and dissipate
This world is crushing me but I lift the weight
Look at star with a different face you’ll see tomorrow
The world will be a better place”
–Charles Aubrey Rogers, 1995-2015

Would I spend the money that we spent, upwards of $250k, again to try to save Charles life?

Without hesitation.

Would I have had Charles if I knew I’d only get him for 20 years?

You bet.

He was a handful. And a joy.

He was a creative genius. … Read more...

Funny Story. Charles was a roller coaster tycoon

rollercoaster-tycoon

So I had this office over the garage that was big enough for two desks. Charles would often be in the office with me playing the game at his Dad’s desk while I worked on a writing assignment.

I was a freelance copywriter back then. I guess he was around 11 or 12.

Charles used to play this game called Roller Coaster Tycoon. And he never played it how it was supposed to be played. In fact there were a lot of games with “Charles rules” that never got played how they were intended.

Roller Coaster Tycoon is a computer game … Read more...

A letter I wrote Charles in 1999 that was opened in 2010

o1LPlTH

On the eve of the millennium, I wrote both my children a letter that I ended up giving to them on their 16th birthday. 

Charles kept his letter and the creases and letter were well worn which indicated he had opened it and read it often in the 4 years before he died at 20. 

After his suicide, we got his backpack back and in it he had every single card or letter I had written him while he was away at boarding school, every family picture he could find and have printed out– and this letter.  

I don’t know Read more...

T-Shirt Stories

Several times I have run this campaign for Beacon Tree Foundation. The deal is you run the “campaign,” it ends and then they ship out the shirts. There is a minimum that has to be met for the shirts to be printed so it’s not ongoing.

What’s cool is that the shirts are conversation starters.

It really warms my heart that both of these friends felt comfortable enough to wear the shirt and have that conversation–to reach out to help another human being in pain.

Thank you Liz and Melissa for sharing your stories with me. You know how much … Read more...

Friends speaking at Charles’ memorial service Part 2

From theatre friends to Anne Moss’ friends, more stories about Charles at his memorial service after he died by suicide. Part 1 is here.

It took me a year to post all these and be able to watch them. I am very thankful to have them and for all the people that stood up and spoke in front of everyone that day.… Read more...

Friends speaking at Charles’ memorial service Part 1

It took me one year and a month to post these. Thank you Wendy Holt for grabbing a camera that day and filming or I wouldn’t have them. My brain was still too fried and in shock to think of anything other than trying to make it through the day.

People gathered around Charles like a moth to a flame. I feel like I lost a son and I feel like I have lost Elvis. He was that on-the-spot talented. He could make up a rap song in an instant to cheer someone up or a joke that would bring … Read more...