Monday, February 19, 2018

Farewell, Bill

     This is most of the final e-mail I got from Bill Crider, whose memorial service is today. It's more serious than most. Even the salutation, which is usually "Hey, Cap'n" assumes a more somber tone. 

Hi, Bob.

I'm a much worse correspondent than anybody.  You've read the latest update on the chemo.  I wish it were doing a better job on the PSA.  I need to get this thing kicked, and nothing seems to be working.  Naturally.  It's never easy when it's me.

I told the doctor about some pain I was having, and she said, "That's not cancer-related. Sometimes people of your age . . . ."  That's when I quit listening. I hate it when they start sentences like that.  But in the case of your knee pain, well, . . . .

Dan Rhodes doesn't live in the real present or he'd be a lot more upset about the world than he is.  I can't believe what's happened to this country, which was the greatest in the world at one time. I don't think that's true now, and I really resent it that I'm going to die in a country that's going downhill so fast. I don't know how many years I have left, but even it's ten or fifteen, I can't see us recovering.  I try not to think too much about it for fear of falling into despair.

I like not getting invited to things. I'd rather curl up with a good book than go to a reception or a wedding or anything else.  I'm a homebody.  Your daughters will get over it soon, I hope.  You'll just have to pour oil on troubled waters, or whatever it takes.  I like to keep out of stuff like that if I can.

Thanks for that review on Amazon.  I can use all the help I can get.  I don't know if I'll be writing another Rhodes book after the one I'm working on. St. Martin's doesn't seem interested. Maybe my agent can talk them into it, though.  I'll figure out how to get Boss Napier into the plot if I do.

I'm keeping the sunny side up as best I can.  What else can I do? 




Rick Ollerman said...

My final e-mail from Bill was similar. And hard to believe. He just seemed like he was going to keep on going in spite of everything. At least I got a story from him for our DOWN & OUT: The Magazine. My little editorial space in the front of the upcoming issue will be dedicated to Bill.

George said...

Bill had a membership for the upcoming BOUCHERCON in St. Petersburg in September 2018. Just shows you what an optimist Bill was. We'll all miss Bill...a lot!

George said...

Bill Neary, Angela's husband, wrote an eloquent comment on my blog thanking you for sending those postcards to Bill. I wish I'd thought of such a clever way to ease Bill's final days. Well done!

Cap'n Bob said...

Isn't it Tom? Funny, but I read your blog every day and didn't notice any comment.

Cap'n Bob said...

I went back and found it. A very nice message that I appreciate more than I can say.