Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ode to Billy

By Kim Talboo

My best friend's brother passed away a few days ago.  His name was Billy and Billy was special. Billy was 58 years old, at the time of his death, but if I had to guess I would say that his mentality was that of a 10 year old.  His favorite past times were riding his bike.  He loved his bike.  Every time he was gifted with a new bike the first thing he would do is tear it apart and rebuild it.  He loved being the mechanic for his bike.  He also had an old rope he carried with him and would twirl it.  Cats and dogs he encountered would play with the rope and he would grin from ear to ear.  He was always grinning.  

He loved his large family of brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and he lived in a small rural community that watched out for him.  His world was really small though, consisting mainly of an old country lane which he would travel on his bike from his home to the highway and back again.  One of his older brothers lived on that lane and he would stop by and say hello and would "help with some work" when any was available. 

I suppose some people felt sorry for Billy but one thing the priest pointed out , that gave comfort to me and other people in Billy's family, is that Billy didn't have a care in the world.  He felt secure in the love that was lavished on him, never had to work or worry about paying a bill, and just seemed to take life as it came, one bike ride at a time. 

Billy's bike was displayed in the funeral home, his Steeler's football hat, his favorite rope and a few birthday cards he received (he died one day before his 59th birthday) were placed in his casket. 

I posted the following poem on Facebook as a memorial to Billy. 

 A Time
For Goodbye
by Ron Tranmer ©

There’s a time for us to live,
And a time that we must die.
A time to say hello,
And a time to say goodbye.

Although it’s very hard
To tell you goodbye now,
We’ll wipe away our tears
And continue on somehow.

Then when our life is over,
And it’s our turn to go,
They’ll be telling us goodbye,
While we’re telling you hello.