Rogers’ toddlers in AlabaMO

We were in Alabama for Christmas and my in-law’s fortieth wedding anniversary. Charles is on the left and is 17 months old. Richard had just turned 3. Charles was building his vocabulary and he pronounces his new word in this video.

My boy Charles was so adorable. He was an adorable teenager, too. I love this video and I have watched it twenty times at least.

AlabaMO. That’s what I’m calling Alabama from now on.

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Rogers’ toddlers baking a birthday cake – 1996

2 minutes

This short video shows you some of Charles’ personality. We were baking a cake together.

I do so miss this bubbly, fun child and when I look at these, I see no indication of what was to come. We were such a normal family. We went to parks and read books. We played games and went to the beach. I do enjoy these videos even though there are tears. Four years after Charles’ addiction and suicide, these offer more joy now than sadness and I’m grateful to have them.

Thanks to my editor in LA, the kid named … Read more...

Banana heart – #griefheart number 177

Jill sent me this one and immediately it reminded me of this picture of Charles. My lively comedian. Still shocks me that such a happy, social child suffered from depression and died by suicide.

He had so much potential, so much talent and most importantly he made others feel like they mattered. No one did that like Charles. He made me feel like I mattered as a mother.

charles-banana

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart category.

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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...

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...

To Charles: Letter to a Fellow Goon – by Jay Skinner

I want to laugh
I’ve heard the news
(and I heard it was you)
So I’m waiting for the punchline

I’m stifling certain giggles until the curtain drops
and we take one last bow together;
Cracking on the lines we jumbled,
the cues we missed
(I’ve got a feeling there’s a big one I should have seen)

You are Charles
(I chew the name like bubblegum; sweet)
but life isn’t a stage, or even an act
You are no one’s son
no one’s brother
no one’s shadow

You are not adjectives, or accomplishments
roles or reversals,
potential rap albums, or … Read more...

A video in memory of Charles Aubrey Rogers –by Adam Bloom

Adam Boom, son of my oldest and best friend, put this together for Charles’ Memorial service in June of last year.

Thank you Adam for putting this together. I could have never managed to do it myself.

I love you and miss you Charles. So much. Your mom is trying to find a life after your suicide.

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Young people, you are not alone. Here’s what you have been sending me

feedbackHere is what I am hearing from young people 17-25 about what I am writing and you are sharing from Emotionally Naked.

The fact is these young people have suffered through a system so broken and in a society so unaccepting of their struggles, is heartbreaking. And reading these brings tears to my eyes.

It’s utterly amazing they have done as well as they have. So proud of all of you. One day you will get support and acceptance. Help me work on that by sharing these posts.

I am honored you wrote me and I thought you’d be … Read more...