Monday, June 17, 2013

In Memory...

My Uncle Bill passed away last week, and he taught me several important life lessons. Our family describes Bill's life before 50 and after 50.  At 50, my uncle had a massive stroke. He lost his ability to walk, to recognize most letters and the ability to write.  He set 3 goals: to walk and read again along with publishing a book. Thanks to an amazing reading teacher who is also a published author of several books, she lead Bill's journey in literacy.  Bill was not only able to read again but also published several books over his next 20 years.  He also accomplished his goal of walking independently.

His first book:  My Past Nine Years is about Bill's journey and one chapter is entitled: Reading and Writing. He stated, "The reason I wanted to write a book is to concentrate on positive things rather than sad things.  I like to keep my attitude positive." This was his motto always even when he started on "baby books" which was fine with him because he was going to learn to read again. His first book that he read was  I See Sam

Throughout Bill's book, he writes about his difficulties with learning to write again and the letter "s" and how difficult it was to form.   He used alphabet cards to help him learn his letter names and finally after months of practice he wrote his letters.  He started reading at Level A with the help of his mentor/friend he reached Level L at the end of three years.  His journey was amazing along with his perseverance and his positive attitude.  Finally Bill's last sentence in his book is "Reading keeps your mind active and your thinking processes alive." I couldn't agree more Bill.

Finally, I didn't have the courage to speak at his funeral.  My mother and our other family members found their voice and did an exquisite job.  I found my voice in my blog post that I dedicate to an amazing man and true hero in my life.  I will miss you Uncle Bill.


  1. Thank you for such a personal, heartfelt post. Your Uncle Bill sounds like such an amazing person. May you find peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead, and continue to share the loving memories to forever hold in your heart and use as strength.

  2. What a lovely tribute,Maria - and how lucky you were to have had someone this inspirational in your life!

  3. Once again-my two friends leave the comments that touch my heart. I truly appreciate them.

  4. What a story -- what a man -- what an inspiration!

    I'm sorry for your loss, but so much of him is in your heart and your teaching that he will live on!