Do not cry because it's over, smile because it was. ~ Dr. Suess
My father-in-law, Bill Boyd, died peacefully in his sleep on July 25, 2010.
This is the second father I have lost in three years, with my own father dying back in 2007. Now, Bill was not my "dad". I do not have childhood memories of piggy-back rides and long days fishing on the lake with him. But he was a father-figure to me, nonetheless.
He welcomed me into his family, and treated me equally with his own children, the other in-laws, grandkids and great-grandkids. If Bill had a family favorite, he never let it show. He was there with advice, whether I wanted it or not. And he was there with help, whether I asked for it or not. He put up with me as patiently as he did his own children, and if he thought I was doing something stupid, he did not hesitate to tell me so. And he let me do it anyway.
Bill was a humble, quiet man. But when he found something he liked, whether it was a detergent, a TV show, a restaurant, or a person, he was fiercely loyal. Never to the point of fanatacism, just firmly loyal and always there to support.
Bill loved a good debate, especially about things political. He was very active in politics at the local, provincial, and federal levels. And he was pretty astute. Some of my favorite memories of Bill are those days when we wasted a morning debating a political issue over cups of cooling tea. Even when I agreed with him, I liked to play Devil's Advocate and argue the opposite side, just to see his responses. And they were usually quite well-thought-out and concise. When I didn't agree with him, we could go on for hours, usually only ending when he walked away, shaking his head at my foolishness.
But my favorite thing about Bill, and the thing I will miss the most, was his interest in the fibre arts. He never knit a stitch or twisted a fibre, but he was interested in what I did because it was something different. He went to fibre arts displays with me, not really knowing what it was that he was looking at, but finding it interesting in its beauty and variety. He would ask me questions, listen patiently to my long, meandering answers, then ask another question. He wore handspun caps and mittens with pride and joy. One of the highlights of my annual trip to Fibre Week was to stop and share a coffee with Bill on the way home and tell him the tales of drama and intrigue within the fibre world. If nothing else, he loved a good yarn (pun very much intended!), and my adventures in fibre gave him plenty of those.
The family will be gathering to lay his ashes to rest this weekend. We will say our goodbyes, but I wanted to just say one, all on my own.
I will miss him. A lot. Goodbye, Bill.