Monday, February 9, 2015
Bill Frank was the man at church who I never used to like. When he was new to our ward he was called into the young mens presidency and somehow I ended up in the garbage can. From that point on that story was brought up almost every time we saw each other.
I remember going to his house and eating his 4 course meals, and this one time he had turnips in his mashed potatoes and I couldn’t understand why I hated the potatoes so much until after I ate them all and that was when they told me. I would also eat his peppermint patties that he had in his pantry and also his Lays BBQ chips. I remember that he always had pepsi in his pantry but my parents would never let me have one so I would have a rootbeer instead.
There were many times that we would be at their house just to hang out. We would play crib together or just visit. We even watched the 2002 Mens Olympics Gold Medal Hockey game at his house. There was another time that he had a Christmas party and paid me 20$ to help taking peoples jackets. There were many YM/YW mutual activities at his house that involved cooking, or firesides.
I remember going to his house and seeing the copious amounts of pictures on his fridge and then I noticed I made it up on the fridge. Oh my that picture was horrible! I legit looked like a lion in a baby blue gap hoodie. But it felt nice knowing that he loved me enough to have me on the fridge with the rest of his family and close friends.
I remember spending many Sundays sitting with him at church and eating his candy that he brought with him. He was a gentle man, although it took me a while to see that. He always said what was on his mind and didn’t care who he offended by saying it and justified himself because he was an old man. He always commented on how good a girl looked and called her a fox. He would always ask me if I was dating anyone yet and I would say no.
When Dey and I got engaged and dropped the bombshell that we would not be getting married in the temple right away he heard the news from my mom and sent me an extremely long email and proceeded to say he wasn’t judging me but… and I was hurt and offended. I didn’t think I would ever be able to forgive him for the words he said to me. I know it was out of love and concern for me but it just came at a time where things were already bad and it made it worse so I didn’t care what he had to say.
When I came home I wasn’t really ready to see him just yet, but I knew that it would happen. I saw him first when we went to the ward Christmas party and it was hard for me not to just ignore him. He came up to me and I could feel the anger that had been there for so long creeping up and he gave me a hug, and I reluctantly hugged him back. But even though I was mad at him still, his hug was warm and familiar. He played with Dominic and he loved Bill just as Bill loved him, and I joked around with him as if nothing had ever happened, but still not completely over the email thing.
When I went through the Temple for the first time and he found out he was a little hurt that we didn’t let him know because he said that he would have been there for me. I didn’t care really because I didn’t really want him there. Then when we got the go ahead to get sealed my mom asked me if we should invite Bill and Ellen, and I said I guess we could but I didn’t want to call him, so mom sent an email. Now since it was last minute I wasn’t going to be upset if he didn’t make it. I still wasn’t feeling all the love towards him. But he did show up and when he hugged me afterwards he had tears in his eyes and he said is usual “You know I love ya girl” and I knew in that moment I was so grateful for him being there for it. He made that day so much more special but I didn’t know just how much until he passed away.
I wanted to go visit the franks before I left to come back to Calgary but I didn’t get a chance to. And I didn’t get to say goodbye to him in person because church that week had been cancelled. But Bill gave me a call the day before I left to say goodbye and that he loved me and wished me all the best and hoped that we enjoyed ourselves while being home. He could never just say it simply, he always sounded like a hallmark card to me when giving someone well wishes. It was just so Bill Frank and I loved it.
The day after I got back to Calgary was the Sunday everyone who knew Bill Frank lives changed. It was the biggest shock to me. I don’t know how it could have happened and I don’t think I will ever understand why it happened. I am still having a hard time accepting the fact that he passed away. I think I’ve cried more over him than I did my own grandfather, mostly because I knew my grandfather would pass sooner rather than later because he was so sick and was never getting out of the hospital.
I think, looking back on it, the lord made it possible for us to get sealed and allowed me to soften my heart and have Bill and Ellen at the sealing mostly because he knew Bill wouldn’t be around much longer and it made him happy to see me there because hes only ever wanted the best for me. I still haven’t read the email he sent me, but I will one day when I have the strength to do it. I am so happy he was there and that I got to see him and hug him one last time.
The crazy thing is that since hes passed away I’ve dreamt of him twice. One time we were just in the same place at the same time but he wasn’t able to speak to me. The next time hit me really hard. I dreamt that I was home at church and there were some choirs singing and someones dog pooped on the stage, not sure why there was a dog there but there was. Then my mom had to sing and she was deserting me and I was so upset that I didn’t have someone to sit with. Then I saw Heather Bruce sitting there waving me over to sit with her. When I got there she was sitting with Ellen and my dad. My dad moved over so I could sit between him and Ellen. As I sat down and looked at my dad I saw that Bill was sitting next to him and that he was smiling at me. I told everyone he was there and they all said he wasn’t and that he was gone, but I kept fighting them to tell them he was there. Then I woke up balling my eyes out. It was hard on me for the rest of the day.
I loved Bill Frank, even though he wasn’t always my favorite person, he was an amazing loving man who meant more to me than just the man at church with the big voice who couldn’t whisper and said what was on his mind. Bill Frank to me was family. Hes like the crazy uncle people are sometimes embarrassed by but love more than anything in the world. I feel so blessed to have had him in my life and to have had him at my sealing. I know that if we didn’t invite him I would feel horrible about myself and wished that I had forgiven him in my heart for the words he had once said to me.
Bill, you know I love ya!