2008-05-23 / Letters

A Tribute to William Good 1958-2008

Dear Editor,

We give thanks to all of you who have supported us through the thirty something years that Billy has had this addiction. We have relied on your support many times in these years. We are grateful that he died in the presence of my sister Karen and that he went peacefully. We are grateful to the nursing staff at Peninsula Hospital that despite his frequent presence there, they always treated him with hope of recovery and respect.

I did not know my brother very well. He started using drugs when I was about eight years old. Despite our sporadic relationship, I still learned many things from my brother Billy. I learned about hope: believing that a better or more positive outcome is possible even when there is evidence to the contrary. I learned that my family will always be there for each other. He taught me about selflessness. The most selfless act one can do is to give away a child to love. Billy gave Alisha to Karen, Harry and Mary Kate and completed their family. He taught me about pain and disappointment every time he relapsed. Yet each relapse also enabled me to witness the goodwill of people shining through. He taught me that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean that they do not love you with all that they have. Lastly, he taught me that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I would like to close with a short story. In a harbor, two ships sailed - one setting forth, the other coming home to port. Everyone cheered the ship going out but the ship sailing in was scarcely noticed. To this, a wise man said, "Do not rejoice over a ship setting out to sea, for you can not know what storm it may encounter. Rather, rejoice over the ship that has safely reached port and brings its passengers home in peace." My family and I are rejoicing that despite the many storms my brother Billy encountered, he has reached his home, with God our Father, in peace.

CHRISTINE SMITH

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