Posts Tagged ‘girlfriends’

Reflecting on a Long Time Friendship

Posted on: June 24th, 2014 by admin

Flags and Bunting at GraveThought I might take a moment to reflect on someone who made an impact on my life. I am getting older, definitely on the down side of  life but  I’m feeling good and glad  I can still work. Yet I can’t avoid the fact that I am beginning to see some of my  friends pass through eternal portals. “Life is short” as the saying goes. And it indeed is.

Bill was a lifelong friend. He was a year ahead of me in high school and the All American boy.  He was on the basketball and baseball teams and dated Lynda , a high school cheerleader. She is a friend of my wife, Gloria.  There was a group of 4 girl friends, thick as thieves. The guys came to know each other because of  the girls’ friendship with each other.  Gloria, Kathy, Lynda and Karen. Grade school buddies.

Bill and Lynda went steady though high school, then he went off to college, graduated, came home and eventually  married Lynda. He worked with his uncle in a specialized beef products plant. He worked long hours and Lynda worked as a  secretary first for a local college president and then an attorney.  Along the way they had 3 girls. All three would grow up to be successful in their own right. As the girls grew, Bill and Lynda dug  in  and provided a loving  home  for them. Besides being an involved father Bill loved baseball and we  could always find “Willy” on some team  in the field or behind the plate, no matter what the  age category.  He was pretty good too.

Throughout the years we could always count on the ladies conniving  to get us all together for fellowship and laughs. In the beginning  it was picnics with kids running crazy all over the place, then high school and college graduations,  then weddings and then finally yearly dinners around Valentine’s Day to reminisce about life’s  joys and challenges . But we all had the best laughs when “Willy” would go into one of his stories. He had a way of taking the most  innocuous word or phrase and turning it  into some double meaning  local colloquialism. By the time he was finished we would all be staring  at each other asking ourselves “Where does he  come up with this  stuff?’  Phrases like ” It was ornbelievable” or  ” Can I go wit ya?” or how he would ” pull his pork at 350 degrees”  at work.  If anyone of the group got too serious or mad at each other, we could always count on Bill to bring us back to a sense of collegiality.
Bill was also Mr. Handyman, he could fix almost anything. I’ll never forget the first time I hung wallpaper. It was  my kids’ room in our first house. It was an  old house with plaster walls. I spend hours getting the room ready, hung the paper with great care and sat back to admire my work. A couple of hours later it all fell down in the middle of the night. I called Bill in a panic and he came over and told me it would have  worked well if I had “sized” the walls.  What the hell was that? The walls sucked the paste right off the paper since I hadn’t sealed them. Or the time when I had a leak in a water line to the furnace and tried to “sweat” a new copper piece in.   Could not get it to stick.  Another panic call to Bill. Well Bill told me it works better if water is drained from the system so that the solder would take. It took me 3 hours to drain my old hot water heating system of 3 floors with radiators. We laughed about that one for awhile. I liked that about him; he laughed with me, not at me. And he taught me in a kind manner.
My friend Bill passed away a couple of weeks ago.  He fought a courageous battle against cancer for over 5 years.  I won’t say he lost that battle because he left a legacy  for his family and friends. He was surrounded by a  loving family at the end. Bill’s 7 grandchildren were nearby and I’m sure will have fond memories of their grandfather they will never forget.
Bill loved the water. He and Lynda always had a place close to water. He even tried getting me to water ski once, though I could never get up. But we would get in the boat, me and Gloria and the kids, and  Bill always made us feel like we were on a cruise.  I know he is at peace right now, pain-free and enjoying some celestial water  time. I’ll miss him. But I have a feeling he will always  be “wit us”.

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