Midwestern Mom's Musings

My view of the world through words & photos

It’s All About the Joy

(Since I’m not sure about the copyright issues of actually posting this cartoon, Non Sequitur by Wiley, on my blog, I figured I’d have you check it out on the official site before you read the rest of this posting:  http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2012/10/14)

This is the cartoon that was on the front page of the comic section of our paper on Sunday, October 14, 2012.  It reminded me of my husband, Bill.  It brought a smile to my face and my heart.  I’m glad it didn’t run on the Sunday after Bill’s death because I don’t remember a whole lot of details from the days after his death on September 24.

Since Bill died, people have been offering their condolences which I appreciate, but one of the beautiful things that people have been doing is sharing their stories and insights about Bill.  I treasure these stories and thoughts.

Bill touched many people during his life.  It has been overwhelming to witness how many people thought of Bill as the special person we, his family, knew him to be, especially since we had been leading a rather quiet life these last few years as his health declined.

Bill was a quiet man who would rather spend time with one or two people as opposed to a large group of people.  In this regard, Bill and I were opposites.  I love gatherings of lots of people; I love meeting new people and learning all about them.  I love seeing people I’ve known for years and catching up on everything that’s been going on in their lives.  Bill would rather sit with one or two friends, watching a ball game and talking between plays.  He would be the one sitting or standing off to the side at large gatherings talking sports or commenting on recent issues with another quiet person.

Many people have told me how much they admired the fact that Bill was always there for the kids.  Not only did he come to our kids’ sporting events, but he volunteered for playground duty at their elementary school.  Playground duty involves being outside while the kids are enjoying recess.  He would often show up early and visit with the kids while they were having lunch.  The son of one of our friends said how much he was looking forward to Bill getting better so he would be back on the playground.  His mom said it wasn’t just her son, it was so many of the boys.  They loved seeing a dad at lunch and on the playground since those jobs are normally “staffed” by moms.  Bill represented all of their dads to them and they loved him for it.

When I called one family to see if their son could help during Bill’s funeral Mass, the father shared with me that Bill was the first person he met when his family joined our parish.  He said that whenever he and Bill were at an event together, Bill always came up to him and spoke with him.  He let me know how much this meant to him.

Bill worked in sales for years.  He was the sales person that most of us would love to have take care of us – no high pressure tactics, just honest insight in how the product he represented would solve the problem you had.  As he changed jobs and companies, the majority of his clients followed him because of their loyalty to him and his sales style.  This was something he was very proud of, and rightly so.

Most people have commented on how they admired his quiet, sincere manner.  Bill didn’t have to be the center of attention…and he didn’t want to be in that position.  I think because of this, he connected with people in a meaningful way.  He was thoughtful, kind, caring, compassionate and respectful.

While he didn’t make a big splash for the whole world to see, he did live a joy-filled life and made a splash in our lives.  I can only hope that our kids will take the lessons he exemplified every day and use them as guides to become beautiful, respectful, joy-filled people like their dad.

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One comment on “It’s All About the Joy

  1. Diane
    October 24, 2012

    I love that picture of you and Bill. And I love your gift of writing. So wonderful that you can put your story down in words and share it with so many. Keep writing, Kathy. Bill lives on through your stories. Thank you for sharing your Bill with those of us who were not fortunate enough to know him.

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2012 by in Family, Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , .
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