A letter to the man who made me love words

Ryann Redinger, Engagements Editor

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Submitted by Molly Redinger
My family friend Bill Wilson came to all of events. This picture was taken after a choir show my sophomore year.

I have always had a thing for words. I may not have the largest vocabulary or read the most books, but I love words.

I am a girl with a big heart who loves her family.

You, for as long as I can remember, have always had a thing for words and baseball and all things Oklahoma Sooners.

You were someone with a quick-witted mouth but a huge heart. You always loved my family.

You have been a part of my life ever since I could remember. I still remember when I was just a tiny girl, you would tickle me and make me laugh until my sides hurt. I always wanted to be around you.

When your mother, Gladys, died, you read the most beautiful, well-written eulogy I ever heard. Your poetic words were moving, bringing back memories and all the good feelings her life and spirit gave us. That moment of you standing by her gravesite, reading the eulogy you wrote, will forever be carved into my mind. Little did I know that I would be doing the same thing at your funeral. I know this doesn’t even touch any of the things you’ve written, but to be fair, you started writing long before I was ever in the picture.

You inspired me to write. You would constantly talk about writing and encourage me to write even when I believed I had no talent. Our conversations would usually revolve around what I was writing currently or how newsmag was going. I remember when you pretty much forced me to join newsmag, and how quickly I fell in love with it. I regret never thanking you for making me join the school newsmag because if I never did, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wish I could tell you that you are the reason I write.

But I can’t because you aren’t here anymore. You won’t be at any more of my birthdays, no more Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations. I will never hear your voice announcing the basketball games in my hometown. You will never be in the seats of a Liberal B-Jays baseball game again, never read my first novel or teach my little brother, Jack, how to play baseball.

You lost your long battle with cancer very suddenly. I never got to say goodbye, but I am so thankful for your life that you lived. Jesus gained a wonderful writer to His news staff, a coach for His t-ball team of tiny little angels and another beautiful angel in Heaven. We may not have been blood related, but Bill, you were family. I regret not going to visit or talking to you more. I regret not giving you every single newsmag I ever wrote in. I wish I could reverse time and and talk to you for hours on Christmas day because I had no idea that would be the last time I saw you.

But I thank you for giving me the love of words.

It has given me more joy than you know.

Most importantly, though, thank you Bill for your friendship, for your big heart, and for you.

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