Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Good Man Says Goodbye

A lot of you may have noticed that I was absent from your blogs for a few days last week, and unfortunately it was not a holiday I had planned. My step-father, William “Bill” Fricke, passed away in the early morning hours on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was a good man, beloved by his children, Katherine and Matthew, and the love of my mother’s life. He loved me and my brother too and treated us like his own children, always smiling and hugging, always loving each of us with intensity and pride. Bill did many things and was an expert at all of them. He was a winemaker, a winner of the chili cookoff, ( and incidentally, he taught me that real chili from Texas doesn’t have beans! Who knew?) he was an expert chef, and served in the military. He had many friends and coworkers who knew him as a genuine and humorously cantankerous comrade. He was a member of Atlanta’s Koi Club and built a beautiful pond for my mother, filled with some of the most beautiful fish in the world. But most of all, he was a proud and honorable man who always did the right thing. He fought this illness for fifteen years and was in remission for eight. He underwent a stem cell transplant two years ago, receiving the cells from Mark, his brother, who was a perfect match. His sister Connie was one of his favorite people to talk to. As we all go along our merry way for the holidays, my wish is that you send healing prayers to my mother and his family. There is no doubt that he made it to the gates of heaven, and though he said he had to polish a few stars, he one day wanted to become an archangel. Raise a glass to this amazing man tonight, for though he is now silent, his words and wisdom live on in all the people that he so graciously loved.


I leave you with this poem, which I give to all the people who have touched Bill’s life:

I Am Always With You

When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear
And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home."

I love you, Bill. May God open his arms wide for you, and give you the peace you deserve.

34 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Beautiful tribute! I'm sure he appreciated it!!!

Jenny said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Heather. ((Hugs))

This was a beautiful post, and I love that poem.

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

Heather I am so sorry for your loss. It is never easy to lose a loved one, my prayers are with you and your family.

bermudaonion said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Heather, I'm so sorry for the loss. He sounds like an incredible man who gave more than he ever took, and especially to have fought an illness for such a long time is incredible. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to you and your mother, and his children as well. May God hold you in the comfort of his love.

Jennifer @ Mrs Q Book Addict said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy to loose a loved one, even when expected.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

My condolences to you and all of Bill's loved ones. ((hugs))

Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) said...

Heather, I am so sorry to hear about your stepfather. A loss like this is never easy, but especially so with the holidays just around the corner. I am sure that he knew he was loved, and wherever he is now, knows it still.

Meghan said...

Heather, I am so sorry for your loss, but it's wonderful that you had such an excellent man in your lives. Thinking of you and your family today.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Heather, but thank you for sharing your thoughts and that beautiful poem.

Wall-to-wall books said...

Aww I am so sorry Heather!
The poem was very sweet!
My prayers are with you and the rest of his family!

Literary Feline said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Heather. I love that poem. I am thinking of you.

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

I'm so, so sorry for your loss, Heather :( Huge hugs and very warm thoughts to you and your family.

Audra said...

My condolences, Heather -- that's devastating. Your family is in my thoughts and I'm sending prayers your way. Thank you for sharing this, however -- he sounds like an amazing man. I'm sorry for your family's loss.

nomadreader said...

What a lovely tribute! Still thinking of you, your mom, and the rest of your family at this difficult time. I hope in time you all may find peace.

Anna said...

So sorry for your loss, but this is a beautiful tribute.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm really sorry to hear this. I know he had been battling and your mom had been dealing with his illness for so long. I'll pray for all of you to heal over your loss, and that he rests in peace.

Jenners said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man and your tribute to him was lovely and heartfelt. Hugs to you in this difficult time.

Brooke said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What an incredible man who fought so bravely for so long. May he rest in peace.

Suko said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. The poem is lovely and this is a beautiful tribute to your step-father, William.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man and I am sure he will be missed by many. Savor the memories...HUGS (at this difficult time)

Vasilly said...

*hugs* I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Anita said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. He sounds like a good man who will be missed. Take care my dear.

Beth F said...

Heather, know that my thoughts are with you.I'm so sorry for your loss.

Ti said...

So sorry for your loss, Heather.

Man of la Book said...

Sorry for you loss, Bill sounded like a heck of a guy.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Robin McCormack said...

*Hugs* He sounds like an incredible man who left a great legacy. I'm sorry for your loss and wishing you peace and strength for the coming days.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. I am so sorry for your loss. Blessings and prayers for you and your family.

jennysbooks said...

Oh Heather. I am so sorry for your loss and your family's loss. I will be thinking of you and praying for you. *hug*

Aarti said...

I'm so sorry, Heather. My thoughts are with you - big hug from this side of the internet.

Athira said...

I am so sorry to hear about your stepfather. I hope you and your family find peace and comfort in this hard time. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your mother and your family.

Marie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Heather. Hugs.

Amy Meyer said...

Your words are filled with love and compassion, heather. As others have said, this is a beautiful tribute to your step-father. I will keep you and your mom and family in my prayers through the Christmas season and pray you find the strength, love and support to heed the words of this beautiful poem.

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

I'm so very sorry for you and your family's loss on the brink of Christmas. You have gifted your step-father with a beautiful eulogy and shared with us all a snippet of an amazing person. My prayers are with you.

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