My grandfather, William Buchanan Power (whom I am named after) passed away in his sleep at 3am on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at the age of 91.
He was mostly blind and nearly deaf. They would write things on a white board so he could read them. My father wrote “Billy is here” on a whiteboard. After that he kept saying my name “Billy Billy Billy Billy. Oh Billy! Billy Billy Billy!” as he drifted in and out of consciousness.
For the first 12 years of my life I spent a lot of time with my grandparents at their house in Redondo Beach on Avenue A. My mother had multiple sclerosis and was in a convalescent home. My father worked several jobs to pay for her care and mounting medical expenses. So I would ride the RTD bus across town to school and then walk home to their house.
I swam in their pool. They gave me music lessons. They helped with homework. They loved me very much. They were like my adopted parents. I used their car to drive my date to the prom when I was in high school. Their influence in my life cannot be overstated.
The last words he said to me was “I love you, Billy.” Less than 10 hours later he was finally at rest.
So, in his honor, I’m asking that all friends and family refer to me from this day forward as “Billy.”
Rest in peace, Gramps.
My grandma Margaret is still living and your thoughts and prayers on her behalf during this time of loss are much appreciated.