In the quiet of the other night, at 11:00 PM local time, my step-father died. The event went remarkably fast in that he developed an infection and fever one day and died the next. The process, however, has been going on for years because Bill had Alzheimer’s disease.
For reasons that I agree with, neither his daughters nor my mother wanted to have a remembrance service. After all, Bill has been gone in all of the quality of life criteria for a long time.
I will let him go in the night because he deserved much more from this earth.
But, I will not let him go quietly.
Bill came into my mother’s life after my father passed away and she had been with him for almost twenty years now. Only oldest children who are only sons who read this will completely understand the relief of this man being gentle and kind to their mother.
And that was the hallmark of Bill: he did good deeds all the time with grace, dignity and a great sense of humor.
We should celebrate people who do good deeds with no ulterior motives — it has become a rarity to find such people in this competitive, fast-paced world.
He maintained this approach in spite of the fact that the company he worked for in Michigan went bankrupt — and took his pension at 30-years right along with it. He was left to support himself on his other savings which, like most of us, would not be much.
So he moved to a lower cost state to be closer to his daughters. He didn’t complain, didn’t despair, and didn’t hold a grudge against circumstances that he had no control over in his life.
He just kept on doing good deeds with grace and humility. People won’t remember that because, as Alzheimer’s takes the ability of the person to remember who they are, it also takes so much time to progress that people no longer remember what good deeds the person did as a vibrant human being.
But I remember.
I would ask that each of you do an unselfish good deed for someone this week. And, when you are doing it, remember Bill. A thousand good deeds done in his memory will ensure that Alzheimer’s won’t make us forget the man he was.