On Saturday we lost a very dear and long-time friend…we lost Wilkie. He was this tall, lanky guy who was funny and wise, a great family man who loved his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren. We often laughed together but we would also sometimes meet up on our morning walks and discuss (and try to solve) the world’s problems. He had this wonderful sense of humor, sometimes cheeky, sometimes downright naughty, but oh so funny. He was a whiz with money having a banking background and his wife and daughters will tell you he knew where every single penny went! Wilkie was a little bit of a worrier and had his serious side, but he could always make me smile.
Wilkie had been sick for a few weeks and (long story short) he had some internal issues which led to some liver problems and also the discovery of pancreatic cancer. However, the doctors said that it was found early and they felt he could survive it. He had his first round of chemo last week and did well with it, but last night he had a heart attack and gained his wings almost immediately. This was a known possible side-effect to the chemo, but it was very unexpected.
I spent most of the day with Diane and the rest of the family helping in what little ways I could…I just needed to be there; I needed to be close to this family I have loved for so long. Our families have many wonderful memories. When we were much younger, Wilkie’s & Diane’s family, our family, and 4 other families did just about everything together, including going on family vacations to Panama City. We all live within walking distance of each other; our kids grew up together. We spent many years in Jaycees & Jaycettes together, going to conventions, having parties, doing service projects, having family cookouts and so much more.
Wilkie absolutely loved to dance. One of my favorite memories will be how he and I used to do “the Bump” together at Jaycee dances…remember that dance? Funny part though was Wilkie was very tall and I’m quite short so “bumping” our hips together was a challenge😊
My heart is broken for myself but even more for Diane and the girls…one daughter lost her young husband to a heart attack just a couple of years ago and left her as a single mom to twins. But the three of these ladies are strong and I know they will eventually make it through. They are a very close-knit family and they will help each other along, and we will all be there for them anytime we are needed.
Wilkie, you were a special guy and will always hold a very special place in my heart. I will miss our walks and our talks. I will miss practically having to run to keep up with those long legs of yours, I will miss your hugs, I will miss your teasing. I know your mama and daddy were tickled to meet you at Heaven’s gate and I know I will see you again one day. Until then rest in peace….and don’t go doing “the Bump” until I get there!