Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17: In Memory of....Bill. My Bill.

EC Writes

EC Writes

This post is written to honor a small baby, Zeke, who died at age of 2 1/2 months.  His precious mother, Elisa, has written a wonderful book, The Golden Sky, which will be released tomorrow.  Please click on the image above, or on the link below to go to her site.  There are many bloggers sharing their losses today.  God bless them all.
There have been so many people whom I 

 have loved, treasured even, and who then died.  It is a long list.  All of these people touched my life and others’ lives, then left. 

Bill.  My brother Bill.  That is the person whose life and then death hit me the hardest, leaving the biggest achy grief that never leaves me.

I was 3 ½ years old when Bill was born, still a very little girl.  I recall clearly standing at the crib, with my eyes even with the crib mattress.  Staring in at this red-faced baby, with his blond sticky-up hair, I didn’t know if I liked this change or not.

 I reached my hand through the bars of the crib, and put my hand on the diapered butt.  It was warm, in a wet way.  Just then, he turned his face toward mine; he wrinkled up his nose and yawned.  I decided I liked him.  In fact I was going to be his protector, and take care of him his whole life.

Being his protector was not easy.  Bill was an active boy, with long legs and a short fuse.  The distance between seeing something to do and then doing it was split seconds.  The most impulsive, charming, adventurous boy in existence: that is what I decided Bill was.  Soon I gave up on the protection business.  It would never work for Bill.

Oh, Bill.  I find myself saying that several times a day, even now.  Those two words say everything.  He grew fast, ran fast; he ran away.  One day Bill was still in high school, and then it seemed, the next day he was gone away somewhere.

To chronicle Bill’s life would frustrate the writer and the reader.  Let’s just say that Bill had many adventures, all of which involved danger and helping people.  All those adventures broke hearts, but his charm and impulsiveness were his way of leaving behind other people who sighed, “Oh, Bill.”
Bill died at age 44, the result of blood poisoning following a botched surgery.  The surgery was necessary—all those adventures left behind damage in his long lanky cowboy body.
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My role of ‘protector’ still haunts me.  I think back at the phone calls Bill made to me over our adult years, and wonder if I could have said something that would have brought him home.  I think of that final week, when he was dying but I didn’t know it. 

If only, if only…the regrets of a protector.
My brother Bill with 'Sonny'
I am thinking that someday in heaven, I will chase Bill across the clover fields he loved so much, and actually catch him.  Boy, will I give him a hug or two, or a million.

In honor and memory of a little boy who died on November 18--Little Zeke
Click here! to see the release of 'The Golden Sky'

The Golden Sky Book Launch and iPad2 Giveaway 


  1. We always have regrets in life...shoulda/coulda/woulda as the saying goes....but we think about them all the time and they affect our future actions. Building blocks I guess, to a better person. I hope you do catch him, or maybe, he has learned too and he will LET you catch him.

  2. always wonderful to have such fond memories. A botched surgery? Just another reason I hate hospitals. Go in to save your life and they take it away, same thing happened to my uncle.

  3. Memories, building blocks to a better person, yes, but held on to with too much pain can destroy the person doing the remembering too.

  4. I can't imagine the loss of a sibling - thank you for sharing your story, it was beautiful. Loved looking at the pictures as well. I know that your brother is just waiting to get that hug from you - and in the meantime is watching over you.

  5. That must have been so difficult to write. Grief really never goes away, it just moves a little further back in our hearts.

  6. Susan,
    He sounds wonderful. I can't even imagine losing my brother.

  7. Grief is such a vicious beastie. You think you are on top of it, and it sneaks up and bites you again. With sharp teeth.
    Beautiful post. Thank you.

  8. I still find it difficult to write about 20 year old grief because I worry that I would never do the memory justice. You have written such a beautiful, succinct piece that I am humbled. I am sure there is a vast amount more you could say about your dear brother, but you have really given him a wonderful tribute here. x

  9. Susan, That brings tears to my eyes as I'm in a real sentimental family mood today, anyway. Your post is beautiful but the botched surgery seems so unnecessary. I loved looking at the family pictures. Bill was a handsome man.

  10. Reading your post, seeing the comments, knowing my own life, too, we all, it seems, have those achy losses. But it won't be long before we'll be running through those beautiful "fields" together!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author of In the Mirror & Imprisoned

  11. Susan, I don't know what to say. I am sorry .So sorry for your loss many years ago that leaves a frequent in your heart. This was a loving and beautiful way to honor his memory.

  12. coming from the blog hop...

    Very well written. The candor and witt was refreshing. Just think, now Bill can be your protector. :)

  13. So beautiful!Yes, one day you will both be together again!
    Blessings, Joanne

  14. Hi Susan! It was so nice to see you on my blog yesterday!
    What a tragedy you lost Bill. Your memories of him are beautiful... I teared up. He sounds like someone I could've easily been friends with.
    I hadn't heard of this blogfest or Zeke so I'm hopping over to check it out. I already know I'll be broken hearted once over there.. but i love that his mom is putting out a book.

  15. Such a touching story! I have chills! Thanks for sharing, Susan, and for your lovely comment on my blog.


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