Bill Hick’s would have been 51 years old today.
Though he’s been gone almost 20 years I still feel his presence. He seems to continue to walk the earth…we just can’t see him.
A friend of his used to say, ‘when Hicks showed up he was like a gunslinger blowing into town.’ Not that he displayed haughty bravado mind you, it was actually quite the opposite. It wasn’t anything he did necessarily, it was more his aura that could be felt in all corners of the room. He possessed great humility and what I like to describe as, quiet courage.
Because he was a hellion on stage the world assumed he was like that in general. So not true. He was one of the most gracious human beings I had ever met led by his manners at all times.
Another thing I remember about Bill was how brave he was. He truly was frightened of nothing. This is when I feel him the most, when I’m struggling over something I’m convinced I cannot do. Sure you can, I hear him say. You can do anything. They’re all just as scared of you as you are them. Strength suddenly rises in me like mercury inching up a thermometer.
If I’m sad I can hear him then too. Cry it out darlin long and hard then get on with things because take it from me, life’s short.
I’ve been very pensive since the shooting in Connecticut on Friday where 27 people, 20 of them kids, were killed by a mentally ill 20 year-old boy. The fact that we are no longer safe on any given day is a very difficult thing for me to accept. I revel in my freedom never wanting to be looking over my shoulder, ever.
How will these families go on after such shocking loss? I truly can’t imagine but then I think, with quiet courage, that’s how.
We all have it lying dormant within us ready to stand at a second’s notice.
It’s what got Bill through his final illness and me his death. I still can’t fathom, when they told him he was going to die, how that must have been for him. He was on the cusp of such imminent success that was now going to be completely taken away. His first response was to keep on working as long as possible, concentrating on his music so he could leave as much of himself behind as he could.
They gave him 4 months…he lived 8…from sheer will.
What would he have to say about what’s troubling me today…
Pray for those kids Susannah then go out, for them… for me and enjoy the day. Living to the fullest is what you can do in memory of all of us.
Okay Bill, I will, and before I forget…