Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Dear William

My brother passed away last week.

Now there's a sentence I've never written before.

His name was Bill, Billy to me. Yes, he'd been ill for awhile, and yes, he was in the hospital more times than you could count, this year alone, but you're never quite ready for something like that. I would find myself crying just thinking of him.

When you're young you think you'll live forever, you think everyone will live forever.

It doesn't work like that.

Billy was a good person. It was eye opening and heartening to see the stream of friends and family that came through his home to see him at the end. What was even more impressive was hearing them talk about him.

As the saying goes, "All good."

His wife, Debbie, says Billy never met a stranger.

Let's talk about Debbie for a moment.

She was by his side, always. You know the vows, for better or for worse? Well, she turned that for worse part, out. When Billy wanted to go somewhere, she took him. When Billy was bedridden, she was right there. When Billy was in the hospital, she was bedside all the time. She fed him, Debbie took him to dialysis, she was sweet and kind to my brother.
Debbie and My Maya

I told her more than once that she's an angel. I said at Billy's service that you see the Rock of Gibraltar on television but she is the real Rock.

Love me some Debbie.

Let me tell you a bit more about my brother. He loved to drive. He loved to do that as long as I can remember. Billy drove a bus and all the people who went to places on that bus always requested him.

It was like that.

When I was a young man Billy had his first new car, a looong time ago. The monthly car payment was $39.95. I told you it was a long time ago. Well as sometimes happens he couldn't make those payments, and since my Dad was the co-signer of the loan, Dad gave the car and the payments to me.

That car was nine months old and had 30,000 miles on it.

I did tell you Billy loved to drive.

Was there a bigger Ravens fan? If they were on the telly, guess who was in front of the telly? He had a Ravens hat, more than one, and he knew that team inside and out. The word fan comes from the word fanatic.

That would be Billy.

My twins knew their Uncle Billy very well. When he and Debbie came to visit it was great. And you should have seen the look on their faces when he took his prosthetic off. What started off as a "I don't believe it," turned into "That was so cool!"

Billy was something else.

Rest in Peace my Brother, I'll see you in Heaven.
Billy and his daughter Kimberly

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