Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bill H. was my lifesaver

   Bill H. That's the way people are identified in a club that I belong too. Bill belonged to the same club, actually for a lot longer than I did.
   For a longtime, he was very active, helping others get their lives in order, put some sense into what they were doing or had done, and being available 24-ten as the saying goes.
   I met Bill in 1981. Our first conversation was truly accidental. I was calling for information about Alcoholics Anonymous and was told someone would contact me the next day.
   Several days went by without the phone ringing. I called back and started chewing on the person on the other end of the line.
   Turned out it was Bill. Following a rather rough and crude introduction, he invited me to stop by his house on my way home from work later that evening. I was there until almost 8a.m.
   From then on, for several months, I was a regular visitor. Pretty soon, my visits tapered off to once or twice a month, then stretched to once every 3 or 4 months, and finally, once a year.
   Our visits had to do with what was going on in our lives, and ore directly, how I was doing. There was no lying or hiding anything from Bill. He sat in his rocker in his small, neat home in Waterford and watched me closely. He listed very well too.
   Sometimes he had a question. Most of the time he would talk about experiences that turned out to be teaching moments.
   I have a lot to thank Bill for. Mainly my life and helping me get myself back together. I used to tell him that or write him notes to that affect.
   Like people that are true to their causes he shrugged any compliment off as though ignoring them. To him, he didn't do anything.
   He was almost shy about coming to my home and meeting my family. They too all thanked him for what he had done to be of so much life changing help.
   That first meeting was a little over 35 years ago. Every day, I'm thankful that I got to know Bill and have been able to put into practice so much of what he spoke to me about.
   Bill passed away July 4th. He'll be missed by not only his family, but me, even though our visits were too few and far between.

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