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My Father, My Friend: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on August 11, 2015

On a Cold January Night

The end came so suddenly.

I was home from college for the weekend. My dad and I were watching Johnny Carson. Mom had already gone to bed. During a commercial my father got up and went to the bathroom, and thirty seconds later I heard a crash. I ran down the hall and found him sprawled across the bathtub, half in, half out, his face contorted in pain.

It was January 8, 1969. Snow was falling outside and it was bitterly cold. I can still feel it today when I trudge along the path of memories, a biting cold that seeped through the windows and demanded your attention.

I ran back down the hall to the wall phone in the kitchen, dialed 911 and told them we needed an aid car, my dad was having a heart attack and please, oh God please, hurry. I hung up, ran back to the bathroom and held my dad. I was so scared. Tears were flowing freely and I remember being ashamed about the tears because dad wouldn’t want me to cry but dammit, I couldn’t stop.

I told him I loved him.

And he died.

At 11:52 p.m., January 8, 1969. Eight minutes before his fiftieth birthday.

I still miss him today, forty-six years later.

My dad at work
My dad at work | Source

A Little About My Father

“Always move forward, Bill. Never lose ground you already fought for.”

Dale LeRoy Holland was born in 1919 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the youngest of three brothers, his family was poor and from what I can gather it was a tough childhood. He was a good-looking kid with a temper; he grew to be a good-looking man with a temper.

When he was a sophomore in high school he dropped out and rode the rails in search of odd jobs. This was during the Great Depression and times were tough, so kids were needed to help the family. He spent four years doing that, riding from town to town, taking any jobs available, and sending money back to his folks.

From there he went to the Army and served during World War 2. He served in five campaigns during the liberation of Italy, and his military career was liberally sprinkled with adjectives like “brave” and “tempestuous.” After the war he returned to the States, married, and he and his bride moved to Tacoma, Washington, where in 1948 they adopted a blind kid who had been shuttled from one foster home to the next for nine months.

That blind kid was me.

From 1949 until his death, Dale LeRoy Holland worked as a manual laborer in a sand and gravel pit, day in, day out in the rain, snow and unforgiving sun, working hard, making money for his family and never complaining. He was determined that his son would have a better life than he had, and making it possible for his son to go to college was, he said, the greatest accomplishment of his life.

I disagree.

The greatest accomplishment of his life was being the greatest father a child could ask for.

With his mother and father
With his mother and father | Source

What I Remember Most

“Bill, you are better than no one, but also remember you are less than no one.”

Here’s the thing: my dad made me feel like I was the most important person in the world.

Think about that for a second.

He didn’t tell me I was the most important, but he made me feel like I was.

Is there a greater gift for a parent to give their child?

I remember him never being too tired to play catch with me after work. I remember him being at every one of my baseball games through Little League and high school. I remember him tucking me in at night, and ruffling my hair, and smiling at me with a smile that said everything is going to be all right. I remember feeling completely safe with him in my life, and I remember being completely confused, dazed and alone with him gone.

I remember his ready smile and his willingness to help anyone who needed it. My friends loved him. He made them feel welcomed, he made them laugh and he genuinely cared about their lives.

I remember that no problem was too big to face with him by my side, a hand on my shoulder, a reassuring word in my ear. After his death it seemed every problem was insurmountable.

I Still Miss Him

“Bill, that horse already left the barn. It isn’t coming back, so close the damned barn door and turn out the lights.”

We all say that after a loved one has left, don’t we? “I miss him so much.” “He was the greatest dad in the world.” The platitudes roll in and we look back with misty eyes at a distorted scene of happy times where problems never existed, and we conveniently forget the darker times, the times we disappointed them, the times they disappointed us, when their humanness was less than perfect.

My father was an imperfect man. He wore his imperfection on his sleeve for all to see. He was flawed, a spiritual being having a human experience, stumbling through life just like all of us, sometimes with grace and sometimes with a distinct lack of grace. He could be infuriatingly stubborn. He could be unbending in his code. He demanded one-hundred and ten percent effort and never tolerated excuses. He was oftentimes short on patience and he cussed like the ex-Army grunt he was.

And God almighty, I miss him!

How many times have I wished he was still here? I needed his counsel during the divorce for sure. I needed him to ruffle my hair during those dark days of alcoholism, and I needed him to show me the right path a thousand different times over the span of my life. I just wanted to sit down one more time and pick his brain and have him tell me, again, that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff. I wanted him to tell me one more time that a man earns respect through his actions, not his words, and the only true legacy we leave is determined by the degree of humanity we exhibit.

I wish my son had met him. I wish my wife, Bev, could laugh with him. I wish, I wish, I wish.

Teaching me the value of a job well-done
Teaching me the value of a job well-done | Source

Forty-six Years of Reflections

It’s been that long now.

I still miss him.

And yet he’s with me daily.

Would he be proud of me today?

I think so.

He would be proud of the man I’ve become. I’m sure he pulled his hair out over the years while I struggled with some of the lessons he taught me, but more than anyone I’ve known he would have understood, because he firmly believed that only lessons learned through struggle are lessons that become part of who we are. I’m sure he’s smiling today.

There are still nights when I’m in bed, the covers pulled up under chin, and I swear I can feel the weight of him as he sits down beside me. He tucks those covers in tight, snug as a bug in a rug, he says, and he asks me about my day and if I’ve done any good during my waking hours. I tell him about it all, and he nods, and smiles, and then leans over and kisses me on the forehead and tells me he’s proud of me, and says the four most important words I have ever heard…..”I love you, Bill.”

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, thank you. Your empathy and compassion are showing, young lady. Careful about that. :) I appreciate your kind words....enjoy the hell out of your Thursday.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 23 months ago from New Jersey

      This is so heartwarming and heartbreaking, Bill. You know I never had a father like this, but I enjoy hearing that fathers like these do exist. I am touched to know that with your difficult beginning you were blessed with such a great one. I'm sorry he wasn't able to be around for longer, but his memory lives on in you. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, your love for your girls is shining brightly. Thank you for sharing that...great views expressed by your father. I agree with them completely.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 24 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I've just come from a school orchestra competition where my girl was playing second violin in a combined school orchestra and I couldn't be more proud. We've no idea if they'll win as we only went to see her play in her first competition but to me she already won!

      This hub made me think of my Dad, a perfectionist in many ways. "A bad workman always blames his tools" was a favourite! I just knew I wasn't going to get away with shoddy second rate. And its probably the best gift he ever gave!

      Yes I miss him (been gone 18 years) but I always know what he'd say "Could it be done better?" If the answer was "no" then "it's good enough!"

      Thank you

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! I hope so.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maj.....a contrary man...yes, that's a good description of my father as well. I like that. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

      Bill, he would be proud of you.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 24 months ago from australia

      A beautiful tribute to your father Bill, a man of commitment and compassion who gave you so much. I write about my dad with similar emotions, a quiet, stoic and often contrary man (my mum would verify!) - he left me with much to ponder. Or maybe I left him - the perils of being an ex-pat.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I was very luck, Vellur. Thank you!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Your dad was an amazing person. Your dad is always there with you taking care and blessing you all the time. Take care.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS. I suspect he would have forgiven those tears as well. I appreciate your kind words and without a doubt, we were blessed with our parents.

      blessings, hugs and love coming your way

      bill

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      You have shared bits of your Daddy in other hubs so reading an entire hub about him put it altogether. It is clear he made a difference..undoubtedly not just in your life. How blessed we are to have parents who provide us with a roadmap to life....the work ethic and belief that we are no better or no less than others...I heard those words from both of mine.

      Thank you for sharing ...somehow I think he would have forgiven those tears....

      hugs and blessings and many Angels are headed your way ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you didn't cry, Mel. That would have been embarrassing. :) Thank you my friend.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Your Dad is alive in you. He certainly left a great legacy. Moving words. I wanted to cry but I'm on the bus with about a dozen people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Genna! Whenever I think of parenting I think of my parents. Whenever I think of love, I think of my parents. That's not a bad legacy to leave your kids, is it?

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      You were with your Dad when he passed...he was not alone, and the last words he heard were of your love for him -- the finest son a father could ask for. What an extraordinary man and father -- those endearing human imperfections and all -- and what a priceless, rare gift the two of you shared, and still share today. Thank you for this inspiring true story, Bill. It brings tears, grace and understanding.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Deb! I'm trying, my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It appears to me that you are the man that you set out to be with your dad always by your side. Be proud of yourself, as your dad is of you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kim! I have to let the tender side out once in awhile. :) What is fostered grows. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Bill! I am one lucky sonofagun. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We can for sure, Manatita! And when we do, it's a beautiful legacy for sure.

      Keep on keeping on

      blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry! I'm sure you do, my friend. Blessings always.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A father and son relationship is important. A very interesting and thoughtful write here.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      I love it when you show this tender side. This is a beautiful tribute. Thank You.

      Kim

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      With this writing, I suddenly miss my father, too. He's a person who's full of nuggets of wisdom. He's a man of few words, but when he talks, I listen.

      Thank you for celebrating the role of a father in the family and to his community, Sir Bill.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Yes Bill, I'm sure your father would be proud of the man you've become - and your pride for him shows in this beautiful tribute, and rightly so, I loved some of the quotes. He has certainly left much behind, and I thank you for sharing him with us!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Awesome Bill,

      And right from the heart. I tend to extol the virtues of women, so I am really happy that we have someone like you doing it for men. Yes, I know it's your Dad, but we guys can be models of hard work and excellence also, can't we?

      All praise to you for making it, Bro. All praise to your Dad for his noble efforts to that cause.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      A beautiful tribute to your father. I miss mine every day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      it is interesting, Mike! All I know with certainty is that I'm a lucky guy. It could have turned out so much differently.

      Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, John! I understand how it would be hard to visit the graves. I honestly don't remember the last time I visited my folks' graves. Thank you for the reminder.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Funny how the bonding of people varies so greatly. You make your father proud, you carried on for your self and him. I see from the comments that you have touched a nerve with this piece of writing. I am sure he is boasting and bragging about his son right this minute.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a brilliant and touching piece of writing Bill. It makes me think of my own father and wish he was still around. In fact I visited his and my mother's grave for the first time in about four years recently. That was hard for me to do but I feel so much better now that I did. Thank for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I'm ecstatic that the book got there that quickly. Maybe I shouldn't have been so nasty in my remarks about the Postal Service. I hope you enjoy it. That is me at Ground Zero, with no pretense of greatness and just having fun. :)

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I am the man I am today because of my parents. Their influence is constantly with me, and in me, an I'm very grateful for it.

      Have a wonderful Thursday my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you m abdullah javed! Your kind words make me happy. I will continue to try to live the life of a good man, as my father taught me.

      blessings always

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I was lucky enough to have a fantastic father too, who taught me much about so many things in life. I therefore completely understand what you mean about still missing him; I talk to mine daily and so much of what I do reflects him. We are blessed to have had such an influence when we were growing up.

      My eyes were misty all the way through reading this. Through all the ups and downs, such people's characters shine through. Many people say the dead are gone but they're not. They live on through us and through our children and, most of all, through the way we live because of them.

      Beautiful memories, an emotional tribute that only you know how to deliver, bill. I agree that you write your best when it's from the heart like this, when the emotions flow from your fingers.

      By the way, bill, the book has arrived, thank you very much. I'm so proud to have a fellow hubber's book on my shelf, especially yours. I'm already part-way through and looking forward to reading the rest. I appreciate you sending it; the postage was horrendous!

      Wonderful hub but then that's what you do.

      Have a thoughtful Thursday, bill.

      Ann

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Now we are aware that apart from your better half your father had such an enormous influence on you. It's an inspiring and exemplary relationship. What a wonderful dad he was, he brought you up with an equal emphasis on both spiritual and material aspects of life. Wish we could have met him. I think the crux of father-son relationship was your statement "The greatest accomplishment of his life was being the greatest father a child could ask for".... Only such a father can dare to advice his son to become a person like him, I think today's era lack such fathers. May his soul rest in peace. This heartfelt description of yours made us feel like a part of your family.... We love Bills for such a lovely communique. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, they better hurry up, because I ain't getting any younger.

      All silliness aside, I greatly appreciate your kindness and I'm so happy you enjoyed this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chateaudumer, thank you very much. Actually, if I remember correctly, I did do a tribute to my mother. Or maybe I dreamed of a tribute. LOL Regardless, I appreciate your kind words.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Brace yourself, Bill, because in the words of Donald Trump: I mean what I say and I say what I mean. Or the other way around, too.

      This is one of the most sensitive, endearing, exceptional tributes I have read in a long, long time. Your admirable father raised a remarkable son.

      I predict that one day soon hundreds of thousands of new admirers will know and respect the outstanding, brilliant writer, William Holland. Promise!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, those kind words mean a lot to me. Thank you so much. I'm just trying to be the best man I can be. It gets easier the older I get. :) Blessings to you, buddy. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do know that, Zulma. I won the lottery when I was adopted. There isn't a day goes by that I'm not thankful for the gifts I was given. Thank you and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Frank. I try to live by the code my father taught me. I screw up from time to time but for the most part, I'm on track. :)

    • chateaudumer profile image

      David B Katague 2 years ago from Northern California and the Philippines

      Bill, A beautiful and lovely tribute to your Dad. This reminded me of my own tribute to my Parents in my blogs and in this site. I am expecting a tribute to your Mom soon. Voted up and checked awesome! Cheers!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 2 years ago from Missouri

      God Bill I loved this. This is a tribute to a man who took the time to shape his son into a man, a man who would be proud of you today for certain. Take pride in what you are, of what he helped you become and how you are thought of by myself and others: a good man, a better friend and a husband to a woman who adores you as you adore her.

      Buddy, you were, and are blessed. May God continue to bless and keep you and know I am proud to count you as my friend.

      Mike

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      This was a lovely tribute, Bill. You Dad may not have been highly educated but he was a smart man. He understood the value of hard work, respect and responsibility. And he passed that on to you not just by talk but by action as well. You're one of the lucky ones, you know that.

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      you are indeed a good father's son and your words speaks volumes to that.. bless you my friend :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Jo! A giant? My dad never would have imagined that one day someone would describe him as such. He had very little ego that I remember. He was very realistic about life and about himself......but I agree with you, and I thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, thank you so much. Much of who I am today is because of his guidance.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lea, my kind friend. He was a very flawed human being who had a great capacity for love and self-sacrifice. Hard not to like that type of person. :)

      blessings always

      bill

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, this is beautiful and heart-rending. I hadn't realised how young your dad was when he died. There is no good time to lose a parent, but for someone so young a sudden death can be very traumatic. Having read many of your articles relating to your dad over the years, I can clearly see the influence of this honorable man who did such a remarkable job of molding you into the wonderful human being we've come to know. Your father loved you and demonstrated his love in everything he did. And this at a time when many men could not readily displayed their affection. He was a giant. I hope you'll write that memoir.

      My best always

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      That's very lovely father, you had Bill. I salute him for being so ideal and great. All your reflections tell how good and loving he has been. And the fact that you miss him even now.

      Very interesting and wonderful post. Voted up and awesome and with my blessings and all good wishes for you.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      A wonderful tribute to your dad, Bill, I have read about him in the past and never tire of the kind words about him that you share with your readers. I miss my dad something awful, dying suddenly on our 11th birthday. I treasure the very few pictures I have of him. They are gold to me. There is nothing more beautiful than a son writing words about his dad. No Father's day card can match what I refer to as a hub from your heart. I hope you continue to write about him again and again for the benefit of newcomers to Hub pages. God bless always, Sparklea

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, now you've done it. You've got me blushing and my eyes are wet. Thanks a lot, dear friend. :)

      I love that you found your daddy's books with quotes.....what we didn't know about our parents would fill volumes. What we did know spelled love.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And the same to you, whonu

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      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Bill, this is a story to touch every heart. It stimulates the reader to dig into their own memory bank, whatever that may contain, and reflect on days gone by. We probably don't do this enough.

      Your father's words of wisdom remind me of my Daddy's books filled with positive quotes cut and pasted on each blank page. I found these treasures after he died.

      We are, to some extent, a product of our childhood. I thank your father for all that he taught and demanded of you. Just look at the great man that little boy has become! I know you don't do well with compliments. But this is a fact - not a compliment.

      I love the young lad that has turned into the caring, giving educator, husband, friend and father, Bill Holland.

      Audrey

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Bless you my friend. whonu

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whonu, as a product of the foster system, I'm very aware of how lucky I am to have won the adoption lottery. :) Things could have been considerably more difficult if it were not for my parents. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blond, I believe that too. My goodness, your dad died at 42? What a terrible loss at such a young age. Thank you for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, i didn't realize it had been two years since you lost your father. Thanks for reading and the kind words....and the empathy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nadine! I gained my sight at nine months. Started wearing glasses when I was five. The rest, as they say, is history.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Bill, our fathers were a great influence and blessing. I have seen kids who did not have this in their lives and know how much it means to do so. You as a teacher saw this many times as well, and have felt so blessed, Thanks for sharing this my friend. whonu

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      This hit home with me as my father died young as well. He was 42 and I was 10. Alas I don't have those strong memories like you do.

      I do think that our parents and others who were close to us, are still there for us as guardian angels. Your father would be proud of the man you've become.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, what a great tribute to your dad. I'm certain he was a great man and a great father. Your article is timely for me personally as we are coming up on the two year anniversary of my father's passing. Like you I have great memories and many life lessons to be thankful for. Well done.

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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Bill what a great sharing. First time I learned that you were blind. But not today surely? You now wear glasses. I also didn't know you were adopted. Gosh you lost your Dad very young. Thanks again for sharing your childhood memories.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, thank you. I may be running out of childhood to write about soon. :) As long as memory stays intact I'll keep writing about it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey. I appreciate it, and I'm sorry for your loss as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing that, Faith. It's hard to believe I can't remember a chore from one day to the next, but I can remember words spoken to me sixty years ago. Is that what they call old age? I refuse to believe it. :)

      blessings always, my friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I didn't know my father. You were so lucky to have a great one. Thank you for sharing him with us. When someone has enough love to give to a child who is not biologically theirs, the deed speaks volumes. I love when you write about your childhood memories.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I still miss my father as well. He died when I was 20--your article made me feel that again-- so very sorry for your loss Bill!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful and heartfelt write here, dear Bill. Thank you for sharing about your dad who loved and who was taken at such a young age! Your dad reminds me a lot of mine as far as being in the Army and a bit rough around the edges ...and who taught me a few choice words I cannot repeat here : ) ...My dad died at the age of 60 which was far too young in my mind, but my precious mother lived 24 years after he died. Is it hard to believe it was that long ago now, but memories are fresh as yesterday. A dad's love is a special blessing.

      Hugs and peace

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the kind words, Ruchira! I've tried to be true to the lessons I've learned.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 2 years ago from United States

      Sorry for your loss, Bill

      No wonder you have grown so much emotionally. A loss at such a young age can mature any body!

      xoxo

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thank you. The greatest generation? Some would argue but in my mind they were....we most likely won't see that kind of fortitude ever again in a generation. I was truly blessed, as were you...and we are who we are because of them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop! I think we were both pretty lucky.

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, just this morning I re-read the hub I wrote on Fathers' Day, and the words I had written about my own dad. And then you post this hub about your father.

      Your dad and mine were of the same generation with many shared experiences. Life was tough, but they were tougher. Those experiences shaped them into the men that they were--the greatest generation. You and I were so very blessed to have them as our fathers, our mentors.

      Thank you for this hub--as others have said, this is one of your best.

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I lost my Dad when I was 18 and he was 50. I miss him very single day of my life.I am wearing his watch right now, because I need to feel him near me. For as long as I could remember, up until his death, my Dad supported me in every way. When I was around ten and writing, he submitted my stories to major magazines. Those rejection slips were priceless. Your Dad sounds wonderful, billy. I know he would be very proud of you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha. I don't do well with compliments of that sort, but thank you. ;)

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm jumping in here. You have heart, Bill. People relate to you. And there are a kathousand people out there who have had similar experiences. You have a way of soothing the wounded and strengthening the weary.

      That, my friend, is the core of your story.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I guess the thought of a memoir is foreign to me because I don't feel my life was terribly interesting or special. :) who knows?

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I must echo Sha's word on a memoir. This is a core piece of it. You raise so many questions, that need answers. Perhaps you didn't even realize it when you clicked on Send, or whatever. Best wishes to you, dear friend! ;-)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, thank you so much. I love your words "your heart is your muse." Beautiful description of the creative process, at least for me. This is where my best writing comes from...and it's all tied into emotions, memories, etc. I'm impressed that you recognized that....but it doesn't really surprise me.

      love,

      bill

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this is the most eloquent piece you've posted to date. Your heart is your muse. Are you aware of that?

      Your dad was sitting by your side when you wrote this wasn't he? He wiped your tears and probably shed a few with you.

      I haven't yet lost a parent and I don't know how I'll deal with it when I do. I try not to think about it, but the older I get I know that day will come.

      I felt a bit of kinship as I read this. My mom was born in Kennett, Missouri. When I was two the Air Force took us to Tacoma, a place we called home for a brief period. Funny, my first memories were born in Tacoma.

      Bill, when you wrote about the little girl that was abducted from your neighborhood, you toyed with the idea a writing a memoir versus fiction. I think this piece is confirmation that you have a memoir inside you. Read this essay over and over again. Listen to your words. They're the best you've penned. There's more to come. I can almost feel the words bursting forth.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Dora. There but for the grace of God go I....I could have easily grown up without parents...I just got very lucky.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Those were tough days, Denise. I think of him often....unconditional love, even for an unwanted blind kid. I owe him a lot. :) thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric. The learning continues, my friend, and the legacy is passed on.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Paintdrips, for such kind words. I appreciate your empathy very much. Blessings to you and yours, always.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene and no, I don't think you were imagining your dad's presence. How could it be different? They made such a powerful impression on us.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I do think there was a very big difference in fathers from that generation. Most of them grew up during the Great Depression, and most of them fought like crazy in WW2....that is bound to mold a man and affect their outlook on parenting. Thanks for mentioning that.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I didn't grow up with a father, but I can appreciate the precious memories you had with yours. The proof of good parenting is a happy, healthy relationship with the children. You Dad is a model. May your memories always bring you joy!

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      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for sharing this, Bill. I didn't know you were blind. I didn't know you were adopted. No wonder his passing was so devastating for you. He took you in and loved you when no one else was there for you, and then, suddenly, he was gone.

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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So then I learn from you and my son learns from me. Thank you much Dale for your influence on my son, it is a good one.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you peachpurple. It is indeed a dangerous disease.

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      Denise McGill 2 years ago from Fresno CA

      I really feel your loss. I can almost see my breath and feel the January cold. You can weave such a tapestry of words that I swear I'm there. My dad passed at 60 years old and it was too soon. I know what you mean. At least we all knew it was coming and had time to say our goodbyes. Still is hard today. Many blessings to you and your family.

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      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      This is such a beautiful memory. I love all of your dad's quotes. And, when you said you could still feel him, I was filled with gladness because just a couple of days ago I was telling some friends how my dad left such an impression that it is as if he is still here with me. I thought I might have been imagining his presence. But, to hear you share the same experience, I feel comforted in reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing your warm memories with us.

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Those were the days and those were the fathers. I'm not knocking fathers today, don't get me wrong. I know my husband and my sons are wonderful fathers, but there was that little something extra in the fifties and sixties, not necessarily making anyone or anything better but oh the wonderful memories.

      Like you, I had a father to remember. Unlike you mine lived longer and left more memories for me and my children. Thanks for sharing your story.

      God bless all fathers.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful.

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      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Sorry to hear your passing at early age. Heart attack is a dangerous disease. Amen

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jackclee....it really is amazing, the impact we can have on others. Something to be aware of for sure.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No they don't, Jackie, and yes it was hard, but looking back I'm grateful I was there in his final moments. Thank you for understanding.