What a terrible, terrible loss to the kingdom.
Charles of Westermark has long been to me an exemplar of Pelican-hood. Even with his age, he was on site early six months ago to help with Lilies setup, he and Margaret also providing lunch to others who'd come to help.
But it wasn't only the fact of his long service to Calontir; what made Charles an example to me was his manner. At the time of his vigil for Pelican, I had just learned "Song of the Slow Hound," Mikal the Ram's Norse-style poem-story about service. I went into the vigil tent and offered to share it. Charles agreed, and I of course forgot the words halfway through, stumbling to a halt in confused embarrassment. "That's alright," he encouraged, "take your time." After a few frantic seconds longer, I remembered the next stanza and resumed. When I finished, he game me one of his joyful smiles, the kind that let you know it was okay if you flubbed the words or your delivery was rushed, because somehow, this wonderful person understood you were trying to express your admiration.
I will never forget his gentle smiles.
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