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On the Road that Led to You: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on March 13, 2015

Inspired By

We were sitting in the backyard, listening to music and hanging with our critters, when one of my all-time favorite songs came on….”When You’ve Only Got 100 Years To Live” by Five for Fighting. I’ve included the video of that song for you to listen to while I share my version of that song with you.

I was planning on telling you that the song was the inspiration for this piece of creative writing but in truth, my wife Bev is that inspiration. This song simply awakened deep feelings that I have for this beautiful woman.

With that introduction out of the way, I invite you to follow along “On the Road that Led to You.”

A life ahead of me, filled with lessons to be learned
A life ahead of me, filled with lessons to be learned | Source

Eighteen and Clueless

Full of piss and vinegar at eighteen, pushing the limits at a break-neck speed, looking for answers, rejecting many of them, clueless and yet filled with ego and unwilling to listen to reason. So many say “oh, to be that age again,” but in truth I wouldn’t want to be. It was exciting, for sure, but also painful and frightening. The freedom a child fights so hard for comes with a price, and that price must be paid. The bumps and bruises to the exterior cannot come close to the interior wounds, and until we lick those wounds and figure it out, we will be the human equivalent of a pin ball bouncing off the cushions, ringing those bells, being pounded by the flippers, ringing up the score but terrified that we’ll slip into oblivion, never to be seen or heard from again.

Was I ready for you at eighteen? Not even close, darling. Not even close. How could I give love to another when I didn’t understand the implications of that love? How could I give of myself when I didn’t know who I was? I had too much to do. I had mountains to climb and personal valleys to cross. I needed to live. I needed to win. I needed to lose.

Twenty-eight and in over My Head

Married? What the hell? Step-children? What the hell? Responsibilities and mortgages and bills piling up? What the hell? Talk about clipping the wings of a majestic bird and watching him flounder by the side of the road….that’s what it felt like. The loss of a freedom so hard-earned, settling into a routine of earning, paying, building, pushing for more, an endless race on a hamster wheel, going nowhere fast and so damn eager to get there.

Let’s be honest here. I should have never gotten married at twenty-eight, Bev. I had no clue, no instruction manual and no tools to work with. One day I’m hanging with friends drinking beers and the next I’m buying a home for an instant family, my head spinning and my heart racing, the fear threatening to completely derail me in a train wreck of epic proportions. I was scared shitless, and I know now that the fear was born from feelings of inadequacy. I was a self-fulfilling prophecy, the embodiment of the old axiom you are what you think, and I thought I wasn’t cut out for that kind of responsibility and be damned if I didn’t prove myself to be a prophet.

Was I ready for you then, Bev? Oh thank your stars you didn’t know me then, darling, because I was a mess. I appeared to be all right because I was the consummate actor, but inside my guts were roiling and I was turbulence personified. Ego prevented me from asking for help, and most days were spent just trying to convince myself that I had what it took to survive.

Finally content
Finally content | Source

Thirty-eight and Feeling the Pain

But even the greatest actors reach that point in their careers when they don’t remember their lines, forget their cues and miss their marks, and for this actor it came in my late thirties. I finally arrived at the truth, and yes, the truth was painful, and I ran from it so very hard, arms pumping, legs churning, my lungs in pain from the intake and outtake, days passing by in a blur, lies begetting lies until the truth became a fog bank in which clarity was constantly veiled.

I knew I was in trouble, Bev, but knowing it and seeking help are alternate universes in the galaxy of life…and so I drank, and drank some more, and I substituted false courage for the truth, the truth that I was just a frightened little child in an adult’s body and I had lost my way.

Thank God you didn’t know me then, Bev, for you are goodness, and you would have tried to save me, and in trying I would have dragged your goodness through the mud and infected you with the death of spirit that threatened to consume me.

But it didn’t consume me, Bev. I wouldn’t allow it to, and even though there was more pain to come, self-awareness, and lessons learned as a young child, allowed me to begin the long road back to sanity.

Forty-eight and the First Sight of the Light

Every morning it happens. The darkness, which seems to be perpetual, slowly gives way to a sliver of light, and as the minutes tick by that sliver broadens until the darkness is forgotten and the warmth of the sun envelopes us.

A metaphor for me at forty-eight, Bev. I still wasn’t ready to meet you but I was oh so close. I knew I had a problem and I was seeking help. I was taking on the gargantuan task of reaching my arm out in hopes that someone would grasp my hand to give me assistance. I swallowed my pride, shrunk my ego, and admitted to God and everyone that I was imperfect and afraid. I grabbed a rusty knife and began peeling away the diseased skin of my past. Oh my God it was painful, and there were days I just wanted to toss it all away for the brief respite that one drink would give me….and I slipped on occasion, but the slips decreased in importance and length, for I could see the light then, Bev, a light I thought was extinguished inside of me but wasn’t…and I wanted that light, Bev, I wanted it so damned bad….

So one step in front of the other. One building block on top of another. Re-learn how to live. Re-learn how to be me. Re-learn how to love myself and by extension, others.

Re-learn to be Bill Holland.

My reward
My reward | Source

Fifty-eight and Finding My Salvation

Why struggle if there is no reward? I will readily admit that I need a brass ring, something to grasp hold of and declare as my bounty for a job well-done.

I had paid my dues and I needed a pat on the back. I had come back from the living dead and now it was my turn to dance with reckless abandon and embrace happiness….but one thing was missing….one person….

You!

You are my reward, Bev.

You are my prize.

I finally got it right, babe, and as the tears fall upon the keyboard, I give you my heart….I give you my love….I give you all of me.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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

      Thank you vkwok. I'm very glad you enjoyed it.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      This is a wonderful hub you've shared, Bill. Thanks for that!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, it's nice to know that if we pay our dues there is a prize at the end of it all. Bev is my prize and I am one grateful traveler of life.

      Blessings on this Easter morning.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Bill, this is what life and love is all about. I am so happy that the two of you found each other.

      Again you brought back memories of unhappiness but, without the booze (that is only because I stand the taste). I am glad you found your way to Bev. You are both very fortunate.

      And I think how fortunate I am that I found John, my soul mate, my everything.

      thumb-up, UABI and shared.

      Blessings and Hugs dear friend

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you can steal superbulous. Don't even give me credit. It's my gift to you. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Superbulous?! Oooo...I am so nicking that. Seriously, that is a great word. I'm having that.

      I'm playing catch up. That flu/cold bout has put me behind. Superbulous. God, I love that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, you said it all when you said good people deserve one another. I've paid my dues and I deserve friends like you. Thank you so much.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      And those days, my friend, are the days that so graciously continue to give you your sobriety and sanity now. I am glad that you found them, and that you found me, too. Good people deserve one another, and in order to survive, as you know, we must be there for one another.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I am a big fan of the new words you coined. :) Thank you so much. Bev has a habit of inspiring me....that and love, of course. I appreciate you reading so many of my works today. Thank you and have a superbulous weekend.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Fantabulous? Spectaculous? The words that would do this piece justice haven't been coined, so I will have to make do with what's available. It's just beautiful. It's a wonderful ode to the woman life has been preparing you to meet.

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

      Thank you Frank! Reflection for sure...gratitude? You bet! Life is good, my friend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      what a great little.. lets go ahead and call it tribute.. slash reflection Billybuc.. a moment you take to pause and share your experiences is refreshing.. thank you.. Friend

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

      They are for sure, lawrence. Thanks, buddy.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Keep it up bro. Our wives and partners are worth it

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

      toknow, thank you so very much. I am a lucky man, and dad didn't raise a dummy. I try to tell Bev how much she means to me daily.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 2 years ago

      Oh Bill, I love reading about you. Of course I knew the ending before I started reading it, but it was compelling just the same. Bev is lucky to have you and you are lucky to have Bev. The appreciation you have for her will always keep your relationship young. I am looking forward to reading the next decades of installments.

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

      One day at a time, colorfulone...you got that right. :) Thank you!

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

      Thank you lawrence....from the heart, my friend.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      You are a sweet man, Billy. I am so glad you and Bev found each other.

      One day at a time!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      A wonderful tribute to someone special to you. Loved it

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Vellur. Thank you so much for your kindness.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      You have received a great reward, bounced back into life and yes you must celebrate with gay abandon!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS. The gift waiting for me...that's what she is for sure, PS. It was all worth it, although you might have had a hard time convincing me of that ten years ago. :)

      I'll take those blessings and send you some of your own.

      Bill

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

      Thank you again, Maj! Best of luck with the tourists....I hope your experience is everything you want it to be.

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

      Thank you Mary and sorry about those tears. :) I'm a lucky man, my friend, and I plan on doing whatever I've done so far to deserve the blessings I have.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      O, thank God for Bev. She was the gift waiting for you just down the road Bill. Just around that corner, beyond the pain and stuff that we all stumble around in trying to makes sense of this journey.

      I feel I know her some...you have shared this glorious human being with us enough times that she is a living breathing person who brings light and joy to the life of you, my Friend.

      What a blessing you two are to one another...you found each other despite it all....

      And 100 years to live...a favorite never tire of its refrain...

      Voted up++++ shared

      Have a lovely day

      Know that Angels and love and hugs are winging their way to both of you this gorgeous Monday morning ps

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Correct Bill, not how it works. But the other road might have been foul anyway. Guess, for one I'll never know.

      Here's a quote from Dorothy Parker she says it all

      "That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”

      Meanwhile, Bali is hot, hot,I'm observing the culture amidst the full on tourist trap. It's complex but surviving.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      There are lots of tears hitting lots of keyboards after reading this Bill. You certainly traveled a long hard road but you weathered the bumps and turns and found the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

      Youth always gives and takes away as we pass through it, how we come out the other side is up to us. This beautiful tribute to your love for Bev leaves no doubt how you came out.

      Voted all but funny.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maj, from Olympia to Indonesia, thank you. I was quite comfortable for decades with my head in the sand. I understand. It's a shame we can't have hindsight before the fact. LOL I guess that's not how it works, is it? :)

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

      Thank you Sis! The timing was perfect for both of us......there are times when blind luck plays a huge part in my life, and I feel it was at work here. I did pay my dues and then sort of stumbled into Bev at just the right time for salvation.

      Have a superb Sunday, Sis!

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

      Thank you Wiccan. I'm glad it is all in the rearview mirror. :)

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

      And bless you, Faith! Thank you!

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

      Manatita, you honor me and I thank you. Inspiration my friend, and Bev is my inspiration on more days than I can count. Love is beautiful...Bev is beautiful....can it not be said, then, that Bev is love? :)

      Pax vobiscum

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

      Thank you very much sgbrown.....struggles are worth it if lessons are learned and rewards gained from them.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Hey Bill - what a journey - what an outstanding, beautiful, resolution. It makes me look back and examine me - and seeing - well not always what I want to see.

      Life sure can be difficult, and those learning curves even more difficult. I like the feeling of youth or even going back and making changes where I should have. Now, I know now what I should have known then. Huh.

      Sometimes I wonder at my tendency to put my head in the sand.

      I loved reading this - have just arrived in Indonesia - most happy!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      sigh.......nothing gets to me like a beautiful love story. You & Bev are so good and so right for one another. The timing was perfect wasn't it bro?

      Love the music & lyrics.....combined with our guided tour through your decades....leading straight to where you were always meant to be.....

      Thank you for sharing it all with us....so beautiful, so moving. UP++++

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      That's quite a journey. Thanks for sharing. It's amazing looking back seeing how far we've come sometimes.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, bless you!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Bro,

      You've transcended human love and taken it to the pinnacle of beauty. It is extremely clear here - as if I did not know - your supreme devotion to your wife, Beverley.

      I am a storyteller, and folks tell me that I am awesome when telling a story. In the same light, you're also a storyteller, and oh, how you tell it so well! I see you in the pits; hiding beyond the moon, and the darkness pervading ...then I see you emerging into the Light, carrying a Lantern filled and lighted by past experiences, into a path of effulgent joy.

      You've used such powerful words for Bev: 'Goodness', 'beautiful', etc. I would perhaps have made it poetic and by so doing, lost something. But you have kept her simple and instead woven in every line, culminating in the tears at the end.

      It's your story, Bro, I'm going ... So happy that you wrote it, and Bev would be delighted, to say the least. This was a truly sincere and awesome piece and a sacred dedication to Love Sublime. Salaam!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is wonderful, Bill! Bev is a lucky woman and yes, you are a lucky man for finding her when you did. We all have a lifetime of mistakes and hopefully we learn from then and grow. You have done both and I'm glad you have found such happiness in life!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Eric. This is a hub of celebration and thanks for all the mistakes that led me here....thank God I'm not perfect. :)

      Thank you my friend.

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

      Thank you Pop! I have happy tears too, and I always want them to remain.

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

      Thank you so very much, Venkatachari M....life is good, my friend.

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

      Faith, it would be my pleasure to have you link this hub. Thank you for doing that, and for your very kind words.

      blessings always

      Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, thank you so much. We pay our dues and then open our hearts for the rewards.....and I am so grateful to have lived long enough to see those rewards.

      Go with God, my friend

      Bill

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Have you been reading my mail? The greatest gift I have is being able to thank my lucky stars I made all those mistakes. Without them I would not be where I am and with who I am.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      With happy tears in my eyes, I want you to know that I am thrilled you two found each other. Voted up beautiful and awesome.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      A great tribute and honour done to your Bev, here. It's so beautiful, even though painful. I wish you all the strength and peace in leading your life bravely.

      Thanks for sharing it. Voted up and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Brad, use it for your wife and take credit. I love your first line, buddy. GO FOR IT!

      Thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Behind every great man is a great woman! I believe ... for success you need a good woman in this life and you found your lovely Bev.

      Thank you for celebrating Bev, especially this month of March, Celebrating Women Month.

      If you don't mind, I would love to link your hub to my celebrating women in honor of all women this month. We should celebrate all women each and every day.

      Peace and blessings

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Hello Bill.

      So conforming with original nature divinely orchestrated path to a "holy matrimony". ( As it was in the beginning…)

      Bev and you are now a bright evidence how unsearchable are 'His' dealings, loving us deeply that the best for us will become ours after we willingly ’overcome’ all, - often a longer time requiring - obstacles to the one in lifetime the ‘ right and best.’

      Your testimony has overwhelmingly filled my heart with joy and an pleasure to just pray and wish you to continue in your journey blessed and prosperous.

      Voted up and beautiful.

      Good night my friend, and a great weekend to you .

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      I liked it so much that I am going to use it for my wife. lol

      Married at 25 divorced at 32, I had thought that the seven year itch was a movie, but it happened. She and out two doors away neighbor found each other, while I was working and going to night school.

      But I found my Bev, at 46, and I only wished it happened at 25.

      Well, maybe that was the year that my IQ and age shared the same number.

      So maybe it does take a bad marriage to get the hang of marriage.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Bill. I hope the same thing, for us, and for you and your lovely wife.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Kailey! All we have to do is be patient and take care of our side of the fence. :) Thank you for your kind words.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Well, if that's not the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time. I hope you and Bev have many happy and healthy years to go.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      This is super sweet! We never stop growing do we? People can always come into our lives, and surprise us in pleasant ways.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, thanks for the laugh and the kind words. It is a road for sure, and I love the journey.

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

      Thank you Ruchira! She is one of a kind, for sure. When they tally up the final score on me, this one will weigh heavily in my favor. :)

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

      Thank you Linda! I consider myself a pretty lucky man.

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

      Thank you Larry! I really appreciate it.

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

      Thank you DJ! It was either acknowledge the need for help of perish. I think I made the right decision. :)

      Bill

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      Mark Johann 2 years ago from Italy

      As always billybuc, I love your dog. LOL! The road you decribe is a reflection of an emotion. This is a road. You know.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 2 years ago from United States

      Beautiful tribute to Bev. I have been following you as a writer, and have heard such good praises of this lady, that yes, I would like to give credit to her and to you too for finding the goodness in her :)

      xoxo

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Oh, to be loved like that by someone.

      God bless you both as you continue your lives together.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful piece, as usual.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, I have not cried while reading a hub in quite some time.

      This one is off the charts. I admire any man who can acknowledge his need for help and recognize it when he see that help standing before him.

      Every man should cherish his mate as you cherish Bev.

      This is a wonderful story of conflict, resolution and restoration.

      May you both enjoy each other and realize the best is yet to come!

      DJ.

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

      Very true, Bill, and I thank you for the well-wishes. Have a wonderful weekend.

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

      Thank you Ruby! The future looks very bright indeed, my friend.

      blessings to you, today and always

      Bill

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for sharing. I know you enjoy every moment together, now. Life is full of mysteries. Understanding part of them is what makes life worthwhile. ;-)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, I am so very happy for you and Bev. It takes two to make it work. I admire your honesty. Here's to many more beautiful years together.

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

      esmonaco, thank you! I appreciate your kind words. Now dry your eyes and get back to work. :) Have a great weekend too, my friend.

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

      Thank you John! I happen to think she's pretty special too. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I'm working, and reading this at lunch time. So beautiful, this has brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing, and may you and Bev have a wonderful life. Have a great weekend :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What a beautiful tribute and affirmation to the special woman in your life, Bev. Thanks for sharing that love.

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

      Thank you Will. Sometimes we have to pay some painful dues in order to find happiness. I know I did.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I understand perfectly how lucky you are to have such a fine lady, and I'm sure she's just as happy to have our billybuc.

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

      Thank you MizB....I've paid my dues and I'm more than willing to enjoy the rewards.

      Wishing you happiness on this Friday

      bill

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

      Thank you Sally. That is my hope as well. I want everyone in a relationship to find the happiness I have found.

      Happy Friday my friend.

      bill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      That is so beautiful, Bill. I'm glad you've found your reward. Sometimes the Karma has to play out before we find our soul mates. It sounds like you've found yours. Love and light to you both. MizB.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Bev is one lucky lady, rephrase that, you are so lucky to have one another. It is a long bumpy road one has to travel sometimes. I hope that everyone who travel that same road has an outcome as good as yours, myself included. You have a wonderful Friday the 13th - both of you.

      Sally

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

      Awww, Bev, now you have me crying. Thank you! It was all worth it to find you. We fought the demons to stay together and the future looks like a smooth road.

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      kingmaxler 2 years ago from Olympia, Washington USA

      Thank you, my love. It is a bumpy road we travel. We are blessed to find each other as we near the wonders of twilight. My heart grows as we share life. Rivulets of salty water cascade down my face as read this remembering how hard we fought to stay together. It is so worth it. The beauty, the serenity, the love of our lives together are my haven.I am so grateful for you. I love you deeply.

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

      Good morning Ann and by golly you are right, it is Friday the 13th. I didn't even notice. I hope Jason doesn't some a calling...wasn't that the character in those fright flicks?

      Thank you! Happiness breeds happiness...at least I hope that is true....so my job is to share my happiness and love. I hope, in the end, others will say I have done that.

      Happy Friday, Ann! Enjoy your weekend.

      bill

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

      You are very welcome, Randi. Thank you for your kind words. It seems that there are happy endings if we work for them.

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

      Thank you very much, Brian. I consider myself to be a very lucky man.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Mary. I appreciate your admiration, but I'm just a traveler like all of us, stumbling along and trying to figure it all out.

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Beautiful tribute to your wife and to yourself for managing to get through all that and emerge as the real you. Brave of you to share it all, too!

      I think you're all the richer for having done it and no doubt Bev has got herself a wonderful man too.

      Hope you have many wonderful years together; that way you'll both continue to share that love and kindness to all around you.

      Have a great Friday (uh-oh, it's the 13th! :)) and a superb weekend, bill!

      Ann

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, this is awesome, Bill! I'm sure Bev's tears mingled with yours as she read this. Beautiful profession of love, my friend.

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      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      No words strong enough to express how beautiful and awesome this is. Thank you, Bill, for sharing this.

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      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      The truth and beauty in that essay are very powerful and awesome. I'm glad for you. I hope and expect that Bev is likewise glad and grateful that you two found each other.

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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Your Bev is one lucky woman to have someone like you in her life! This would be a great Valentine's Day Hub. I admire you so much for your honesty when you speak of your past. You've come a long way.

      I sincerely hope you and Bev will have many more happy years together. She seems to be a lovely person.

      Voted UP and shared.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. Livin' large and lovin' life in OLympia.

      Happy Friday dear friend.

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      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful Bill and you are right, Bev is totally your reward! I love that the two of you found one another and are so happy. Here is to many more great years together now! Have a wonderful Friday and weekend, too :)