It's The People You Meet Along The Way Bill is a tall, white-haired too thin man. A gentleman from Indiana who stops in at the marina once or twice a day when I work on the weekends. At night, he'll bring his evening glass of vodka with him. I suspect this is his ritual on weekdays too.
Bill is soft spoken but talkative and seems very kind and also more than a bit mischievous. He talks about going to his condo at Fort Myers Beach - it's spring break there all year long after all. He talks about how he has lived a bit of a wild life - after marriage and kids. Bill asks me how I am. And says, "more importantly, are you happy today?" I smile and say honestly that yes, I am happy on that day. And then I run off to fuel up a boat and pour Coronas for Mick and Cindy.
About 20 minutes later, I get back over to Bill and I ask, "So Bill, are YOU happy today?" Bill has a twinkle in his eyes that shines bright even when he tears up telling me he found out Friday that his cancer is back. Bill has fought hard to beat cancer two other times.
Bill is ready to fight again but says, "it's not fair." Chemo again, this time with a thinner, weaker body, despite his morning Ensure drinks. He almost finished one of Chris's giant burgers last weekend but he is still skin over bones.
"The doctor said I'll lose my hair this time," Bill says. He's proud of his thick white hair that neither age nor cancer has taken. This cancer is stronger and tougher to eradicate.
Bill started chemo today. I've been thinking about him all day. I don't know how old Bill is or whether he's a veteran being celebrated on this Veteran's Day.
I need to know Bill more. I hope to get that chance.