I wanna tell you a story bout a man named Bill

Because if I don’t tell ya nobody will.

There’ll be some glory and a smatter of pain

It’s a little gory with a morsel of shame

It may be the story will clear up my rep.

Cause I’m trying to erase every misstep.

              So sit back and smile

                      And let me entertain you for a very short while.


Daisy and I sold our home in the mountains of North Carolina in 2007 and moved to Allamuchy, New Jersey. Seeking worthwhile retirement activity I took to writing my life story – I called it Bill’s Journey. I finished it in a few years and put it online on my website.  All the while my wife thought I’d be better off getting a job.

Two years later, now living in Florida, I printed about 30 copies for family and friends.

I got immediate gratification from the project however. My offspring enjoyed my efforts. One grandson put a quote from the book into his high school yearbook. My curmudgeon brother-in-law, whom I love dearly, remarked, “What’s the point Bill? There’s no market for it.”


Here’s a photo of myself, Peter Joyce, Norma Joyce and Diaisy enjoying a moment in San Miguel De Allende in Mexico. The Joyces live there now. We four have made wonderful memories together in Thailand, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico and the Caribbean islands.

Later, when he thumbed through the book, he said, “You did well Bill. I think I’ll make one of those for my grandchildren.”


I got an email from a woman named Jennifer Lees in January 2013. She had been researching her husband’s family for a couple of years after the birth of her son. She said that she was trying to find her husband’s grandfather through the internet and happened across the name Peter Joyce in Bill’s Journey. She was looking for a relative of her husband and wondered if I could put her in touch with Peter Joyce.

I forwarded her email to my friend Peter and forgot about it. He ignored my email for a while and it wasn’t until weeks later when we were plotting a visit to Peter and Norma Joyce in Mexico that the subject came up again. He found my email and responded to the woman. He told me that he’d tell us about it when we got to San Miguel de Allende.

Turns out that Peter had a daughter with his first wife and she neglected to tell him about it. The daughter is named Jaqueline and she had a son named Haydn who married Jennifer, the researcher. The first wife passed on about 3 years ago. Peter is about my age – maybe a little older.

Wow! Peter found a lost – unknown daughter, a grandson, and a great grandson because I mentioned his name in my book. Is that not something? He and Norma are flying to England in May to meet his lost family and they are all traveling to Corfu, Greece with the lost ones for a holiday after that.

His daughter wrote these words a couple of days ago:



Visiting Mexico 2013. View frim balcony in Porto Vallerta.

My Darling Papa.

My Aren’t we a dirty stop up.

What time did you call that, going to bed at that hour. Anyone would think you were a grown man.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for three tinkles of my bell. I am truly a lucky girl, I didn’t think I would hear my bell this morning, I am so glad

my Papa ignored me – although we will have to talk about the ignoring your daughter bit later. I will forgive you this time .

I love cheesecake and your words, as always, touch my heart.

Although I don’t know your lovely friends Bill and Daisy I knew they would be happy for you, they are your friends. The old saying is, you choose your friends, you can’t choose your family.

Enjoy your sleep my Darling

My love always and forever

Your Daughter



I was amazed by the interned search poser that enabled my friend to find his daughter.




  • huey develin says:

    Come again?

  • Jacqueline lees nee Joyce says:

    Hi there Huey
    You sound confused please let me explain,
    The three tinkles of my bell mean that I received threeemails from my papa which was a surprise as he was on holiday with his good friends and I didnt expect any communication as I told him to not bother with the commputer whilst on holiday and just have a good time.

    The reference to cheesecake was my papa sending me a greetings card with a cheesecake on it, don’t forget we are getting to know each others likes and dislikes and he had as always written some words that touched my heart.

    The comment about you can choose your friends was that friends are chosen by you meaning that there is some connection there, my papa was worried about what his good friends would say about this astonishing news having been friends for so long and not knowing about Peter’s first wife.

    This story is a truly remarkable one, to be able to find someone after thirty years of looking is truly amazing.

    I hope that explanation makes things a bit clearer.

    Jacqueline lees

  • Winn says:

    Wow! Bill that’s quite a story. Thanks for sharing it with me

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