Copied from Linda M Hughes facebook: February 12, 2018
On October 4, 1990, my son Charles Everette Hughes, III was born. He was 3 weeks late, was born with the chord wrapped around his neck 3 times. He was blue like a smurf. I insisted that he stay with me in the same room, actually in my hospital bed. This was unheard of at the time. I would wake up, just to see him looking up at me, wide, blue eyes just filled with wonder and excitement. I would drift off to sleep, wake up again, and he would still be looking up at me. This went on all night long. I wondered, hey little man, what are you thinking?
Katie Hughes gave him a 1st day birthday party with a cake and much love. They have had almost a telepathic relationship their whole lives. She will call and say, I feel that Char is in trouble. He would call and say, hey, talked to Katie today? I feel that she is having trouble. And always, they were reading each other correctly. Their love for each other has been so inspiring.
He started infant swimming at 3 months and grew up into an excellent swimmer. He went 3 days a week for 9 yrs. He had this dive that was so incredible, it would take my breath away. At age 9, he said I am bored. I asked, what do you want to do instead? He said, well, I saw this karate dojo… and thus began the love of his young life. He was the youngest black belt in his karate system in Colorado. He was a student instructor, on their exhibition team. and all the little boys loved him.
He was so curious… always wanting to know why, how, what. He was an explorer, and adventuror. He was always wanting to know what was beyond the next hill. He used google more than anyone I ever met. He taught himself so much about so many things.
His best friends mom, Kathy Middleton gave him a guitar for a gift. He went into his bedroom and a year later came out as a virtuoso guitarist. With minimal coaching from John Vickers he learned almost every song written by Led Zeppelin. And then became known at the guy riding his bike with the guitar strapped to his back. He played everywhere, anywhere, all day long.
Growing up in the construction world, he eventually became his father Charles Hughes business partner. They were the most incredible team. Watching these 2 grow into their relationship with each other was such a joy to see. They butted heads, backed off, regrouped, met each other in the middle and moved into the next challenge. All the time, both of them cherished their partnership-friendship.
And then, one day, Charlie’s curiosity met heroin. I think he was experimenting like he did with everything else. Only, this experiment did not let go of him. One night, in tears he confessed to this addiction and asked for my help to kick it. I googled this and we got started. He quit cold turkey. Stayed quitting for a year. Started up again and made it another year. Only thing is that when his cravings were bad, I administered alcohol to help. And then he got addicted to alcohol. And heroin was 10 times easier to kick than alcohol,
Long, awful story short, he finally started kicking it. He was sober for 32 days and then fell off the wagon. And kept falling off the wagon. And his fall ended on Feb 9 when he overdosed on heroin with a 4,5 BAC. I really do believe that he was so drunk that he didn’t realize he had taken the heroin. He went into cardiac arrest. The person he was with administered 4 minutes of cpr, the emt’s another 7 before his heart kicked on. And his brain suffered from catastrophic damage.
And for 3 days, I took every sign as one that meant he was coming back. I actually got into a knockdown drag out fight with 2 of his physicians. They said it was muscle spasms, I said it was true contact.
And today, I woke up and felt that he was gone. I called Katie and she said, I can’t feel him anymore. And then I went to the hospital chapel and gave myself a serious talking to. In the end, I relinquished my attachment to him, I released him from me and I told God that if he wanted him, he might be ready. And if he didn’t want him, I needed a miracle and he could send him back.
The neurologist that I had attacked the day before brought in the MRI scans and they showed a destroyed brain. No matter how much I have loved my little man, he was never ever going to come back. We decided to end life support.
But before we did that, we had a combination family and friends party. We invited our family and also his close friends to come to the ICU unit of the hosptial for a celebration party. And it was so spectacular.
Finally, Katie, Chuck and I said goodbye to him, the nursing staff disconnected life support, and our precious son/brother left us 10 minutes later at 8:39 pm, peacefully and calmly.
I have had 6 hrs sleep in 72 so I am numb. I know that this will slam into me first thing in the morning when Char won’t be joining me for our usual early morning coffee. But, for now, all I can feel is gratitude for getting to be a part of this incredible young man’s life. I will love you forever Charlie Hughes.