Large image

Share a special moment from William James's life.

Write a story
February 23, 2017

he was a great man he always laghed with us and played with us but one day he stoped comming over and that made me sad and he started doing bad stuff

A Father's Goodbye

July 10, 2011

To Will,

You were our first child, born to us when your mom and I were just 20 and 21 years old. On the day you were born your grandfather shook my hand and said, “You just gave yourself a life sentence”, and then he laughed. Probably for two reasons. The first being because he knew that I had no idea what I had got myself into; and secondly because of the dumb look on my face- which can best be described as a blend of exhilaration and terror. But those words have wrung in my ears ever since. “You just gave yourself a life sentence”. Well I’ve been cheated. This sentencing was not long enough. It was suppose to be for the rest of my life, not yours.


Something else happened the day you were born. You brought a new light, and a fresh hope into your grandfather’s world, and he slowly began a return to the man he once was.


There was always a special bond between you and your grandpa. You were his prince William, and he would call you “William James Muldoon Himself”.  While you were still learning to talk,  he would ask you, “What’s your name?” and you would proudly exclaim, “Willum Jay self!”; and then he would laugh. A simple laugh, signaling the pleasure you brought to his world simply because you exist.


I don’t believe he ever forgave me for moving you to Pennsylvania for two years. It was not long after relocating that the regular visits began, and your grandmother, who has the patience of Job, endured countless hours of car drives and complaints, so he could be near you. After moving back home to Lancaster he said to me, "Don’t you ever do that again. Next time just YOU go, and leave the rest of them here with me."


After your grandpa passed it was as if most of the color had been drained from your world, and you stopped drawing. Within a few years we once again relocated to Indiana, something for which I don’t think YOU ever forgave me. In time you started again, excelling in wrestling at school, in writing, and in art. But for 16 years, from the day we moved to Indiana until the week before you passed it never changed. "Can't we just move back home to NY? That would be so nice, I would have my family around me."


You always had a knack for finding lost things. A simple walk through town would result in a pocket full of treasures. Things others have tossed aside, or lost along the way.  Some of my fondest memories are of you and your friends just hanging out at my house, eating everything in sight, (like locust descending on the fields), playing music, talking philosophy, theology, and sociology.


Will’s friends... Like your mom, you did not bring home stray pets, you brought home stray people. Most of your friends you had found and brought home because they had lost their way, and you knew that any kid who walked into our house over time just became one of ours. Every Thanksgiving, every Christmas, every Easter our house was filled with 20 some things, thanks to Will and the lost boys!


I have always been amazed how you taught yourself to play guitar. Not the usual four cords strum like every other wannabe garage band guitarist. No, you could play! Your guitar became an extension of yourself, and you would sit for hours making music with your eyes closed, "getting lost in it". The best birthday present you ever gave me was when you taught yourself to play my favorite piece of classical music, Pachabel's Cannon, and you played it for me on my birthday.


It’s been said that we sing when we no longer have words to speak; and your music became your outlet. You poured your heart into your songs, and were able to express through them all the things you could not say.


Today I complete the circle. I bring you back home to your grandpa, and I place you safely in his arms until I join you. There with your grandpa, and our God, May you find your eternal rest in the arms of the one who loves us all just for the asking and believing.

I envision you now... playing for the angels, and singing like no one is listening... and I see the smile on your face that only comes from being home, where you are loved simply because you exist, and no other reason is necessary.

So this is goodbye for now, but not forever.

We said goodbye to Will this last Sunday July 3rd, 2011 and buried him with his Grandpa in Lancaster Rural Cemetary

Share a story

Add a document, picture, song, or video
Add an attachment Add a media attachment to your story
You can illustrate your story with a photo, video, song, or PDF document attachment.