Today, March 1, my mom is burying her second Bill. Her husband, my father, died in 1978, after 21 years together. She travelled through her middle aged years an independent woman, leading her 4 daughters and 1 son to become strong, kind and resilient people.
Happily, 16 years ago, she met her second Bill. They toured the world embracing new sights, sounds and flavors as they played their nightly game of cribbage to see who had boasting rights for the next 24 hours.
Now, 37 years after burying her first Bill, she is again burying her loved one. Two weeks ago, they were returning from Hawaii, he was tired, drained from what they thought was a cold. It was not. He’d had a “leukemia blast” and his body was riddled with cancer. One week ago he went into hospice care. Today, he is being remembered and celebrated at his funeral.
It is a sad day for us all as we reflect on the death of a good man, my mom’s beau, our second father figure, a man who lived life well.
Here is the poem I wrote for him last week. I read it to him with tears streaming down my face and trickling down his and I am ever so glad I got to know this special man. It will be read at his service today:
I Will Remember You Well
by Sara McNinch
I will remember you well, Bill Fisher.
I will remember a joyful man throwing snowballs in the backyard with two rambunctious teenage boys and I don’t know who was having more fun.
I will remember a history-loving man in the dark nights of Priest Lake sharing astronomy lessons on how the ancient mariners navigated their ships around the world by the starry constellations.
I will remember an insatiably curious man, patiently listening for, recording and counting a frog’s ribbitting chorus to find the underlying mathematical equation of its song.
I will remember an intelligent man who patiently explained (and re-explained) binary code and how the first computers were built, how they have evolved and even how to use our present day gizmos now.
I will remember a contentedly peaceful man enjoying the smells and sounds and sights of nature whether sitting on a railcar passing through the tall trees of a forest or perched on a whale watching catamaran in Hawaii or strolling a vineyard in the Tuscan countryside.
I will remember a kind and caring man, partnering with my mother in the sunset of their lives, and accepting all her brood and her brood’s brood and beyond, with grace and gentleness.
I will remember you well, Bill Fisher. You are a man who said YES to life. YES to learning, YES to games, YES to adventures, YES to music, YES to doing and being and living!
I will remember you well!