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 mistep.
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.
Years later, living in Florida, I printed about 30 copies for family and friends.
I got immediate gratification from the project. 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.” Some time 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 him and his wife Norma Joyce in San Miguel d Allende, 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 flew to England in May 2013 to meet his lost family and theywent to Corfu, Greece with the lost ones for a holiday after that.
His daughter wrote these charming words in one of her many emails:
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
I think this little story should be an inspiration to those of us who wish to record our memories and life for future generations.
You never know what might pop up!
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