Soar High Chuck!

IMG_7487.JPGA horrible tragedy happened this past weekend, but there is beauty within the storm.

Horrible because my father in law was killed in a absolutely freak accident Saturday morning.   Beautiful  because he immediately soared on eagles wing’s to a beautiful place that has no sorrow and no pain.  Chuck is in the presence of his beloved Jesus.

Chuck died when a vehicle ran off the road and  struck him as he was standing in his yard.    Literally, at the blink of an eye, his was gone.  There’s no need for me to share all the ugly details.  This writing is about the celebration of his life, not the ugliness that surrounds that whole chain of events.

His legacy lives on.

And that’s what I want to share.  Chuck came into my life in 1997 when I started dating his soon to be step-son, Joseph.   I remember Chuck being the life of the party, happy go lucky guy.  He wasn’t my favorite person.  I thought he was loud and obnoxious.  🙄

Fast forward to 2003, Chuck and Donna were married by then.  Chase and Hunter were toddlers.   Chuck had a massive stroke.  He was left paralyzed on one side and spent months in a rehab center.

Let someone go through a life changing event like that, and you’ll see all the feel good friends flee like cockroaches.  He was no longer the life of the party.  Chuck was a shell of the man he once was.  All he had was a few friends and his family.

That’s when I fell in love with Chuck.  I started going and taking him to lunch and making a point to visit with the boys more often.   Chuck became someone dear to me. He became my friend.  Over the next few years, Chuck really went through some hard times as he struggled to find his new purpose .

God came and did some miraculous things in Chuck’s life.  He healed his soul and there was no doubt that his name was written in the Lamb’s Book.  Everything in Chuck’s demeanor showed it.  Chuck learned to walk again.  I remember absolutely being shocked the day he got his driver’s license.  I never imagined that would be reality.  Chuck only had one working arm/hand.  He didn’t let that stop him.  I’ve seen this man use his teeth while using equipment.  He brought new meaning to “Where there is a will, there is a way”! His yard remains one of the best cared for and has won recognition.

When the boys lost their dad in 2009,  I was at one of the lowest points of my life.  We were in the midst of preparing to make a move.  To say I had a mess on my hands would be a serious understatement.  Who brought his tractor over and spent countless hours making sure that the boys and I had a new place to call home? This one armed wonder gave me the prettiest grass in all the forest!( I live on many acres with no neighbors!)

As the years passed Hunter and Chuck formed a special bond.  He became Chuck’s armpiece on many, many projects.  I’ve never seen 2 people that could work in synch with no spoken words like they did.   Chuck was also driving force behind Hunter’s own relationship with the Lord.  Many camping trips were spent with Hunter crawling up in the bed with his PawPaw at night sharing the Bible with him.

While we had our own Church,  Hunter and Chuck would go to revivals and to what was a Cowboy church that was held on a non-traditional weekday.  Hunter would beg to go.

Chuck would go and cut wood with a chainsaw(one armed wonder, again!) for any family he knew that needed to stay warm during a cold winter.  Seems like he was always helping someone and sharing the gospel!

One memory that will forever be etched in my mind is how Hunter ended up with PawPaw’s personal Bible several years ago. I’m not sure if he asked for it or if Chuck saw Hunter’s interest and wanted his grandson to have it.   This Bible is full of highlighted scripture and writings from Chuck.  Hunter still uses and treasures it to this day.  He’s carried it around with him since this latest ordeal began.

Two years ago, Chuck was diagnosed with leukemia. It only slowed him down a tiny bit.  During all these trials, the Lord was faithful to Chuck and Chuck to Him.

Chuck has other grandchildren who all have other precious memories of Paw Paw. I’m so thankful Hunter and his 7 year old cousin Kayleigh just returned from spending 2 weeks camping with them.  I pray that all the cousins will share his legacy with 2 year old Lilly as she grows.

So yes, it was a horrible tragedy. But there’s a beautiful peace in knowing that Chuck lived and breathed for his Savior.  And now he is reaping the benefits.

Rest In Peace my friend.  You were an inspiration to this old girl you still claimed as your daughter in law,  all these years later.











12 thoughts on “Soar High Chuck!

  1. Judy B Robinson

    A beautiful tribute. What a wonderful legacy . Each one of us has special memories that pay tribute to Chuck and hopefully lighten the sorrow. My prayers are with Donna, family and friends.


  2. Lois Dixon

    What a lovely tribute to such a loved man. I want to thank you for writing your thoughts on Chuck for all to see. My sympathy to the family. And yes, soar high Chuck.


  3. Linda Knight

    This was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad you shared such a beautiful sentiment of him. May God Bless you.


  4. Mary Ann Ranta

    A book could be written about the life of Chuck Byrdic. Having known him for nearly 40 years, I am proud to say that Chuck was the Father of two precious children, Joshua and Rachel.
    Joshua and Rachel loved their Dad “dearly”. I am equally proud to be the Mother of these incredible children.
    Chuck and I married in 1979. Although our marriage did not last, his relationship with his children grew as the years went by.
    Alot of “life” happened as the years went by.
    When Chuck rededicated his life to the Lord in 2006 there was a brand new Chuck Byrdic. He and I quickly became friends. The best part is he and his wife, Donna (love her!) and me and my husband, Scottie, became close.
    It was quite a testimony to our adult children of the restoring, healing hand of the Lord.
    Joshua and Rachel had never seen us four together sitting, talking, laughing and sharing meals EVER in their life.
    Chuck and Scottie often ran into each other at the grocery store. Scottie ran into Chuck 2 days before his death. They talked and joked in the ice cream aisle and Scottie came home with, what Chuck said was the “best ice cream ever”. It is sitting in our freezer.
    My husband, Scottie was honored to be asked to be a Pallbearer at Chuck’s funeral. Scottie cried. Scottie loved his dear friend who had the sweetest spirit ever.
    Chuck’s life was a rollercoaster ride, as most of ours are. But he WAS a Miracle Man in the eyes of many, many folks in this area. The visitation at the funeral home bore witness to that.
    The “Why” questions will never be answered. Just choose to become a better person because you had the honor of knowing Chuck Byrdic. THAT is what he would want to come out of his death. I know it has changed me.


    1. thebeancounter2018 Post author

      Thank you for sharing Mary Ann. You’re a gifted writer with MANY stories to share and testimony of your own. You should seriously give thought to blogging!

      You have beautiful children who I love very much and will always consider my brother and sister in laws. I already consider my self close to Rachel, but it was an honor to spend time with Josh this week. You, Chuck, Donna, and Scottie rightfully have so much to be proud of.

      Chuck would be proud of all of you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mary Ann Ranta

        Thank you for the kind words! Yes, there are stories to be told. The bad was ALL washed away the day Chuck called me several times to ask for forgiveness. What an amazing man he was. I have sweet memories that are tucked away in my heart. Our children are precious to me and their hearts are broken. The pain will ease one day but it will never go away. I pray for them without ceasing.

        I am going to ask if this is Kelly writing?


  5. Mary Ann Ranta

    Well duh, was trying to think who it may be. The broth and sister in law threw me.
    I love to write! I have a book in me as well…..
    I love you girl!



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