This morning, another dreary damp day in Tacoma, my cousin William (Bill) Eric Paine, born on the 28th of December 1961, passed away, losing his fight with cancer. He was only 56 years old.
There are times when mere words cannot express the sorrow one feels, or can heal a wounded heart, or provide hope to carry one through to the next day. This is one of those times. I have such cherished memories growing up with my cousin Bill; Holiday gatherings (the Fourth of July and Christmastime were my particular favorites), building marvelous things out of Legos, Tinker Toys and Erector sets, playing baseball, throwing the football around, snow tubing down the pasture hill, singing along to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (with the four-part harmony), working on our cars … ah, the sweet simplicity of youth. Although through the years our lives would drift apart, my son and I were privileged to be among those celebrating Bill’s marriage to Corey. I was stunned when I learned of his illness, hoping and praying that he would win his battle with cancer, but God seems to have had a different plan. Through it all, Bill’s humor, bravery and selflessness shown through. He would always ask me how I was doing, as if any problem I might have could possibly compare to his. Remarkable. I will miss my cousin, my friend, and will always remember his kindness, intelligence, generosity and selflessness. My wish for Bill’s family, and for everyone who loved him, is to find comfort in faith, knowing that he has gone home to be with God and will forever live in our hearts.