Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Song of Celebration

David Bills 1962 - 2017
Oh, sing a song of celebration
Lift up a shout of praise
For the Bridegroom will come
The glorious one
And oh we will look on His face
We'll go to a much better place

And dance with all your might
Lift up your hands and clap for joy
The time's drawing near
When He will appear
And oh we will stand by His side
A strong pure and spotless bride

We will dance on the streets that are golden
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man
Let every tongue and tribe and nation
Rejoice in the song of the Lamb

We will dance on the streets that are golden
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man
Let every tongue and tribe and nation
Rejoice in the song of the Lamb
by David Ruis

Our son David breathed his last this morning after a valiant battle with cancer. I had travelled to Utah to see him twice recently and we had fairly accurate predictions from his doctors and nurses. But yet news of his death still came as somewhat a shock... Too much to wrap my mind around.

David's doctor, Dr. Cox called a little bit ago. He has become a personal friend of sorts, calling periodically to inform me about our son's condition and boost my spirits as we face the pall of a terminal cancer diagnosis. So, when his call came, I thought he was calling to offer comfort and condolences, but no, he had not yet heard of David's death. He felt a need to call me, tried to put it off until tomorrow, but something nagged at him to do it now. My G-D using a phone call from a compassionate doctor/friend to reach out and comfort me. A reminder that I am not alone and the King of the Universe cares. His Word says He gathers my tears in a bottle for they are precious to Him. It is that G-D who welcomed David to the Streets that are Golden this morning. One day, I will dance there, too.

David age 6
David was born with a shock of white hair and made our lives interesting and exciting with his curious mind and unstoppable spirit of adventure. Although he was never mean, he sometimes did things that could be dangerous.  He knew no fear, and that can be scary for others. Finally, teachers contacted social services and the state insisted he be tested by psychologists. They came up with a diagnosis of autism (I never believed that) and the court system committed him to the Utah State Hospital... a little boy! 

His natural father was allowed to take him to California to live but they would not release him if he was going to stay in Utah. But it wasn't long before there were problems again and David was once more a ward of the state. We don't know much about his life in California. The authorities there would not share info with us.

David, Norman and Scott
Once he grew up and went out on his own, he wandered the country. He joined the Army for a time but found it really wasn't for him. He travelled all over, doing odd jobs and became a street clown which seemed to suit him well. He made marvelous balloon flowers, animals, starships... Dogs and kids loved him and he loved them back in a unique and wonderful way. He came to visit us through the years but was often gone for months on end when we did not hear from him. He was married for a time but later divorced.

He was in New Orleans when warnings to evacuate were given as Hurricane Katrina bore down on the region in 2005. He followed instructions and left the day before the major storm overwhelmed the city. As part of an aid program to retrain and relocate Katrina refugees, David went to truck driving school and excelled. He continued in that career the rest of his life.

Pictured here are three of our four sons. Richard went home to the L-RD in 1992. All three of these boys grew up to be truck drivers. I am so proud of that for I was a truck driver, too, among other things, as was my dad. David's two older brothers really rallied around him and did a great deal to carry him through the ordeal of metastatic cancer. Norman's whole family has been caring for David in their home. Scott and his family have driven several times from Colorado to help with care and paperwork, etc.

The photo on the right was taken in California when David was in high school. I don't have much information on those years.

Wedding to Bree July 7, 1996 New Orleans, LA
We attended David's wedding but never knew Bree's last name. The marriage seemed good while it lasted, and the parting was without rancor that I knew of. 

Pictured at a 1997 wedding: David, Bree, Stephanie, Chani, Rio (head down) Tia, and Richard A. Norman in front.
David loved dogs and had one with him most of his life. This was taken in Dothan, AL in 2002

David enjoyed family and loved weddings. During my two last visits to Utah, he and I talked of how touched he was that the whole family had been so supportive. He was so amazed that people came so far. In the picture below, you see Taunya who along with Candy has been so involved in David's day-to-day care.
Daisy, David and Taunya at Tia and Eddie's wedding in Nov, 2004

The photos below have no dates. Any help in finding out when they were taken would be a blessing.
David and Richard in New Orleans

David in a Tux. I wish I knew when and where.