I only met him a couple of times, but Bill seemed like a pretty cool guy. He used to live just one block away from us, and Shane would go up to his house quite often just to shoot the bull and visit a minute. He reminded me of my own dad in many ways. He was one of those guys who would give you crap just because you were there, but he would also give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it.
From what we understand, he had been suffering from lung cancer for a while. He found out a couple of months ago, but he didn't even tell his family. See, Shane's friend and Bill's son, Mark, had been going through a lot recently. Mark's son had been diagnosed with a pretty rare case of leukemia, and their family had just gone through many rounds of chemo and radiation with him. Bill didn't want to add to the stress for their family. So, he didn't tell anyone lest it get back to Mark. That's the kind of guy he was. He didn't want anyone worrying about him.
Well, he got pretty sick with pneumonia, and was forced to go to the ER. That's when the rest of the family found out about how very sick he really was. They only got to spend about a week and a half more with him before he passed away. He was on life support and they ended up having to "pull the plug".
Our hearts and prayers go out to Bill's wonderful family. It was painfully obvious at the funeral today how much he was loved and will be missed.
As I said before, I didn't know him well, but it brought into sharp focus how quickly your loved ones can be taken from you. I've been thinking a lot about mine and Shane's families both today, and I just hope that they all know how much we love them.
I know that Shane has some family that are fighting and not so very close right now, and some that he has never been close with. I hope and pray that these things will pass and they can be a closer family again. He is having a really hard time accepting Bill's death and has been really emotional today. It seemed very sudden to him, and everyone else I'm sure. It hit him hard because he wasn't prepared to be mourning someone that he thought was in good health. I think that may have a lot to do with his feelings about his family. Life is short, and can be made shorter than we really think it will be.
I am grateful for my family and that no matter what anyone says or does, we can all get past things and love each other. I guess I never knew how lucky I really was.
Thanks to Bill for being such a great friend to my husband and a lot of other people as well as a wonderful father, son, uncle, grandpa, and brother to his family. He's influenced a lot of lives and created a great legacy for many years to come. You'll be missed Bill.