It’s Lonely Without Love

21 Mar

My dad died when I was twenty.

No single event in my life has had as much impact, on me, as that did.

January 9, 1969, three days before his fiftieth birthday, he died of a massive heart attack on a cold, cold night in Tacoma, Washington.

I was home from college for the weekend.  He and I were watching The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  He said he wasn’t feeling well, got up to go to the bathroom, and dropped dead.  I called 911, held him, and he died.

End of story!

Except it really isn’t the end of the story.

I was adopted at nine months.  I’ve never known my biological parents. I have no idea who they are. All I know is Dale LeRoy Holland, three years removed from serving in World War 2, and Evelyn Josephine O’Dowd, recently annulled from a previous marriage, hooked up in 1948 and decided to adopt a blind kid.

It turned out pretty damned good for all of us.

Now I mention all that because people keep asking me where my work ethic comes from, and they state, in wonder, that I’m able to achieve so much (they don’t add ‘in my advanced age’).  But the reason is in that grave, in Tacoma, Washington, with the grave marker that says “Dale LeRoy Holland.”

I am my father’s son, with or without the biological similarities.

I was told, as a child, that working hard is something to be proud of. I was told that limitations are for people with a very narrow view of life.  I was told that the time we have on this planet is precious and shouldn’t be wasted.  And I was told to find something I loved to do and then become the best I can be at it.

It’s been almost fifty years now since that cold January night, but my dad still lives on, in me, and I’m his proud son.


“I think the whole world is dying to hear someone say, ‘I love you.’ I think that if I can leave the legacy of love and passion in the world, then I think I’ve done my job in a world that’s getting colder and colder by the day.” Lionel Richie

I love you!

Take that to the bank and deposit it.

I love each and every one of you!


Do you love to write?

Is writing a passion for you?

Then what are you waiting for? Write like your tail feathers are on fire.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

41 Responses to “It’s Lonely Without Love”

  1. Janine Huldie March 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

    Aw, Bill you are most definitely Dale and Evelyn’s son. Seriously, you are one hell of a man and have no doubt in my mind your dad is smiling down and so proud of you. I must also tell you as I was reading this, I was reminded of my grandfather’s death when I wasn’t quite 22 years old back in 1999. Like you no other lose has quite shaped me the way that did. Even though he was my grandfather and not my father, I was as close to him as though he was and to this day will never forget him nor that fateful day. So, in that essence I get what you wrote here, as does my own heart. Thank you my friend for just being you and always being so forthcoming and honest. Have wonderful Tuesday now!!

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

      And bless you, Janine, and thank you! Those kinds of losses will always be with us. I’m grateful I was the one with him when he died, although it took me several years to realize that fact. I was just too young at the time and couldn’t handle it.

  2. Nell Rose March 21, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    And we love you to Bill. that must have been one hell of a shock, bless him. and its made you the man you are today. We all love reading your articles here and on hubs, and lets face we all get in a muddle with our stuff sometimes and come to you for advice, lol! so you are one of the best.x

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

      Nell, that is sweet of you. It scares me, however, that people come to me for advice. LOL Seriously, thank you!

  3. Honey Halley March 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    You are certainly an inspiration to all. I know I am continually amazed by all you do. I’m sure your Dad is as proud as any father could be of your accomplishments. Losing a parent is a life changing experience to say the least. It’s so hard to go through life’s ups and downs without being able to share things with them. I know, I lost my Mom when I was 17 and Dad when I was 18. It through me threw a loop. Thanks for inspiring me. You rock!

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

      Oh my God, Honey, both parents by the time you were 18? That is just horrible….but I know, then, that you understand what I went through. Thank you for sharing that, and for your kind words…..I’m glad we are friends.

    • Chris Desatoff March 22, 2017 at 4:02 am #

      Oh my god, that’s so horrible. I lost my Mom when I was twelve, but to lose both parents so young — and a year apart ! — I’m so sorry =( But what can you do, right? You just go forward, I guess

  4. suziehq March 21, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

    You are an amazing man Bill Holland and one I am proud as punch to count my friend. I have lost both my parents now, my mum nearly 20 years ago and dad 3 years. I miss them both every day and am so thankful they were my parents. Have a great week my friend xxxxxx

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

      Irish, I don’t know about amazing, but I do know I am surrounded by caring, loving people like you, and all of you make a huge difference in my life. Thank you for your friendship, Irish! Hugs from Olympia!

  5. marlenebertrand March 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    I love you, too Bill. And, like everyone else, I do wonder how you do it all.

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

      Good genes, Marlene! I can attribute it to nothing else…that and loving parents. Thank you and love to you always.

  6. Robin Grosswirth March 21, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    Hi Bill. Your anecdotal sage wisdom never fails to touch my heart. I am warmed by the love you had for your father, but not everyone has had your experience, unfortunately. However, sometimes in experiencing a negative example, one follows a different path to find and provide love to their own children. I was fortunate to have wonderful grandparents, who by example, helped me to find my own path for parenting. They reside inside me and sing to my soul daily.

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

      Robin, so good to hear from you. I hope you are well and happy. Thank you for sharing about your grandparents. They did a fine job of raising their granddaughter.

  7. Mary wickison March 21, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

    The loss of a parent changes everything. My dad died of a heart attack too, when he was 42, (it was his third). My mother woke me in the morning and said, “Daddy’s dead”.

    Your father taught you well and he would be proud of the man you are today. Not only have you excelled in your gift of writing, you are kind enough to share and encourage others.

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

      Well, Mary, I would say that’s a horrible way to wake up…so you understand completely. Thank you for sharing and for your very kind words.

  8. 1authorcygnetbrown March 21, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    After I read this post, I was thinking that blood may be thicker than water, but love is stronger than blood.

    • Billybuc March 21, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

      I totally agree, Donna! Thank you!

  9. pagesvoice March 22, 2017 at 1:05 am #

    Yes, the three most powerful words are I love you. My dad died on January 10th, but in 1994 from a heart attack after shoveling the driveway. He was the age I am now. Needless to say, I don’t shovel snow anymore. Instead I have a guy who plows and shovels.

    • Billybuc March 22, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

      Dennis, I understand that completely. I remember nearing my 50th birthday, terribly afraid I would drop dead like my dad.

  10. Sageleaf March 22, 2017 at 2:01 am #

    I knew about your father…but I had no idea HOW that happened. Whoa. That would have affected me profoundly, too. I was all traumatized when one of my mom’s patients died in my arms when I was 15 (and the same week my dad had a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery and my grandmother passed away). I was…quite stricken for a good week. After that, life started to get a little back to normal, whatever that is. But…those events stay with us. Those moments live in us and light the fires in our hearts, don’t they?
    But – I speak for myself – those events certainly helped shape who I am. In tough times, I remember Sunshine (that was my mom’s patient) and how I know I shall overcome.
    Great post, Big Bro. 🙂

    • Billybuc March 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      Thanks Lil Sis…yes, these things to affect us greatly. Pain and learning…hand in hand…at least for me, my greatest teacher.

      Hugs my dear friend

  11. Greg Boudonck March 22, 2017 at 3:55 am #

    You know Bill, it is a word that gets thrown around haphazardly, but we know when a person truly means it… LOVE. And I can tell you truly mean it.

    You know what else my friend?

    I love you too. Tell Bev hi and go water those birds–LOL

    • Billybuc March 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      Thank you so much, Greg, and love to you as well. Give Maria my love.

  12. Chris Desatoff March 22, 2017 at 4:06 am #

    Love you, Bill!

    I’m sure your Dad would be proud to know that despite the trauma and the hardship, you’ve taken the best he had to give you, overcome so much and turned out to be such a good man.

    Believe it or not, you’re an inspiration to a lot of us, Bill. Thank you!

    • Billybuc March 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

      Chris, thank you for the kind words, my friend. I gain inspiration from all of my writing friends as well, so thank you for that.

  13. marcoujor March 22, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    I love how your Dad lives on in you, Bill.
    Beautiful thoughts – Love you, Maria

    • Billybuc March 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

      Thank you dear Maria, and love to you always.

  14. divalounger March 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

    Bill–your story brought tears–you and I are more alike than you know–When I was 20, I lost my 16 year old brother in a drowning accident. My father died of a massive heart attack 3 months later–I am the first child born here of immigrant parents–and we learned to work hard for everything we had–when my brother and dad died, I was lost for a long time–but I know I was loved, deeply- sounds like you were too!

    • Billybuc March 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      Audrey, you definitely understand. Thank you for sharing a part of your story with me. That kind of pain may shape us but man alive, it is a tough lesson for sure.

  15. Michael Milec March 23, 2017 at 2:38 am #

    Bill my friend, you have just confirmed my life long belief that the binder with parents never ceases as long as we live. Yes, as we get older, more we realize all they done for us , with us and told us is product of love. It was at that time kind of different “air” I suppose. Your father “told you as a child”… and that was a “holy invocation.” Then you were happy to prove you are worthy do it obediently. Obviously! We became friends on a very similar premises. Though my parents lived fairly long age, we did live together the first my fifteen years, then I left to proceed self supporting future and never returned back, accept for one day weekend nine times a year. While in the world, I felt presence of my parents and heard their words every moment of decision making, remembering up to this moment I never in all my life told my mom or dad a single “no.” Because of they loved me, though they never verbalized ” I love you.” Strange as it is, in our culture that phrase is totally uncommon verbally, maybe because it was manifested in all our needs and provision. We new that we new to receive and give love.
    Perhaps you have noticed my sparingly using ” I love you” , though I do, my friend more than I can or do express. I will be forever grateful to you and bless you as long as I live for everything you have given and done to me freely.

    • Billybuc March 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

      Michael my friend, that was a beautiful comment,in any language. You bridge the language gap with this lovely message and the sharing of your experience. Thank you dear friend…and yes, I love you!

  16. Sarah Potter Writes March 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    I know I keep saying this, but you are such an inspiration, Bill. Whatever I say about that post, it won’t be enough. What a horrendous experience for you, seeing your beloved Dad die like that. And yes, he would be proud of you. Not only is your writing brilliant (am so hooked on your book that I’m reading), but you are always ready to encourage others in their creativity. You are well loved by us all 🙂

    • Billybuc March 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm #

      Sarah, that is a very sweet thing for you to say. Thank you my friend. I just try to give back what was freely given to me.

  17. phoenix2327 March 25, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    ‘I don’t care what they say I won’t stay in a world without love’. I’ve had that song stuck in my head since I read this. Thanks, Bill. lol

    • Billybuc March 25, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

      And now I’m trying to think who sang that….Peter and Gordon? That’s going to bug me the rest of the day, thank you very much. 🙂

      Happy Weekend my friend!

      • phoenix2327 March 26, 2017 at 12:10 am #

        Yes, it was Peter and Gordon. The song was written by Paul McCartney who was dating Peter’s sister Jane Asher at the time.

      • Billybuc March 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

        I’m encouraged that I knew that, Zulma. At least my memory isn’t totally failing. 🙂

  18. Christy B March 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Oh Bill, your story is so touching and for you to open up to us how you have shows the talent of your writing.. Tears welling up in eyes here ((hugs))

    • Billybuc March 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

      Dry those eyes, Christy! It’s all good and I grew to find happiness….and yes, in part, because of friends like you. Life is good, young lady, and I thank you!

  19. Shauna L Bowling April 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    I love you too, Bill! I know your dad is proud of you.

    • Billybuc April 19, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

      Thank you, Sha! That means a great deal to me.

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