By Charles Towne


Many times, just as we are crawling into bed after a long day of living, and I have closed my eyes in anticipation of a journey into the land of Nod, my dear sweet Nanny wants to talk.

I have at times been somewhat frustrated by these nocturnal excursions into the realm of communication, but they are important to her, and usually, if I listen, something insightful occurs. The following is an example:

Nan: “Charles?”

Me: “Uh huh.”

Nan: “I love you.”

Me: “I love you too sweetie.”

(We cuddle.)

Nan: “I really enjoyed that movie.”

Me:  “What movie?”

Nan:  “You know, the one with Clark Gable and Rita Hayworth.”

Me:  “Oh yah, that one.”

Nan:  “Charles?”

Me:  “Uh huh.”

Nan:  “Are you listening to me?”

Me:  “Yes honey.”

Nan:  “Is Clark Gable still alive?”

Me:  “No, He died quite a few years ago.”

Nan:  “No, he couldn’t have!”

Me:  “Yeah, I’m sure he did.”

Nan: “He couldn’t have!”

Me:  “Why do you say that?”

Nan:  “Because I just saw him in that movie.”

Me:  “So?”

Nan:  “Well silly, if he was in the movie he must still be alive.”

(I lay there staring into the darkness wondering when it is going to end.)

Nan:  “Charles?”

Me:  “Yes honey.”

Nan:  “Is Rita Hayworth still alive?”

Me:  “What do you think sweetie?”

Nan:  “She must still be alive “’cause she was in the movie too.”

Me:  “Oh sure, that makes sense.”

Nan:  “What makes sense?”

Me:  “That they are still alive.”

Nan:  “Who is still alive?”

Me:  “Clark Gable and Rita what’s her face.”

Nan:  “What about them?”

(Oh my goodness, I have created a monster!  But then, after all, she is my monster.)

Me:  “What about who?”

Nan:  “You know, Clark Hayworth and Rita Gable.”

Me:  “Huh?”

Nan:  “Let’s go to sleep now.”

Me:  “O.K.”

(I lay there staring with unseeing eyes.  All I can see is Rita Hayworth beating up on Clark Gable.   I am wheezing from my C.O.P.D.)

Nan:  “Charles.”

Me:  “Uh huh?”

Nan:  “You are wheezing.”

(She giggles.)

Me:  “What’s so funny?”

Nan:  “I was just thinking about what I am going to have written on your gravestone.”

Me:  “What are you going to have them write on my gravestone?”

(More giggling.)

Nan:  “She took his breath away.”

(Aint it the truth?)


Dear God, thank you for my darling.  Help me to always be ready to laugh.  Help me to be gracious in all things.  Again I say, thank you for my darling.  Please continue to create in me a Christ-like character that you can use to your glory, In Jesus’ holy name I ask it, Amen

Live wholly,

Love fully,
Love God, and make a difference, today


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adapted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy filled life.


  1. Love this article! I’m still smiling. What an inspirational writer-able to find humor and love in some of the most challenging moments life has to offer.


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