On Monday, April 23 my dad passed away from a very brave battle with lung cancer. His illness did not define him, nor did he give up even until his last breath. My dad was a magical person – always making jokes, and keeping things light, a man who touched many lives, and from beginning to end stood for what he believed in. When I was little I used to say “I want to be funny just like my dad!” He was my hero when I was a child and even as an adult. My life will never be the same without him. He was a source of joy, dedicating himself to bringing LOVE to this world. We sang together, danced together, had our ups and downs.
When I visited him during his last few weeks, I asked him “Dad what is the key to life?” He said, with a twinkle in his eye, “To be happy and make others happy.” And he did exactly that. Truly dad, what is more important than this? I knew you of all people would know the key to life! He had a way with words, and a way to make even the darkest moments seem graceful and even joyful.
Though his death is a loss beyond description, he would not want us to dwell in the sadness. He would want us to rise up and CELEBRATE life. He would want us to laugh and be brave and continue living what we’ve got left. There was not a single moment knowing my dad where he wasn’t the fullest version of himself. He walked into a room and made it more colorful and vibrant. The world is a better place because of him.
If there is one thing I could tell him now it would be that we will all look out for each other, that we won’t be afraid, that because of him our lives have been touched forever. If you miss him watch a beautiful sunset, or listen to the birds, or the joyful laugh of a child. My dad faced life AND death like a true badass. May we all do the same. A “Celebration of Bill’sBeautiful Life” will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2 p.m., at the San Juan Community Theatre.
Cheers Dad, I know you are with Fred Astaire dancing among the stars!
– Vanessa Ament