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Bill Bateman
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Bill Bateman   My Press Releases

Remember Your Dad this week

Published on 6/10/2019
For additional information  Click Here

Bill was a great guy. He was part of that "greatest generation",an only child to second generation Welsh immigrants.

I don’t know much about his parents. Bill never talked about them for a reason I’ll explain in a minute, but I do know his dad was a hard working guy with a job and a farm near Toledo, Ohio. The old man lived through the depression and was reportedly painfully thrifty and he suffered from diabetes in the era before insulin and during the 1940’s Bill’s dad’s health was getting worse.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor Bill joined the Navy and was on a PT Boat during the “Island Hopping Campaign”. His boat came in close to the islands at night and catapulted that “glow in the dark” stuff onto the island so that US Bombers could hit the islands at night. They always got shot at.

Bill caught some shrapnel in his chest and arms during one of those raids and went back to Toledo with the Purple Heart.

His dad was at the point where the diabetes had taken its toll. 7 days after Bill returned home from the war he found his father hanging in the garage with a note to take care of his mom.

Bill’s mom had been married and taken care of since she was 16 years old. A year later the stress of her loss, Bill found her hanging in the basement of that same house.

A few months later Bill married his high school sweetheart Betty. She had suffered from polio and with some spinal problems they were married 10 years thinking they would never have children. But between 1957 and 1964 God blessed them with 6 children, 5 daughters and a son.

I am the son.

When I moved out of my parent’s house at age 18 I bought a small house of my own just a few blocks away. I got in the insurance business and worked a lot.  

 

Fast forward 10 years…

 

Unbeknownst to me Bill Sr (my dad) had been suffering from some depression. Like his father he had some blood sugar problems and along the way his doctor had prescribed the “miracle drug” of the day, Projzac, to make him happier. It would be years before the medical profession found out about the side effects of this drug.

It was a pretty normal Thursday in Battle Creek, Michigan. April 13, 1989. I woke up not realizing it was a day that would change the rest of my life. I still remember one of my brother’s in law banging on the door and shouting my name…

That morning my mom had breakfast with my dad. She headed to her part time nursing job and when she came home from lunch she found him hanging in the garage. No note, nothing more worth telling about. He was just gone.

I don’t know if it was repressed Post Traumatic Stress from decades before, the blood sugar, the Prozac or some combination that contributed to my dad’s death. Wished I did, but I don’t.

Of all the regrets I have, more than anything, I wish I had told my dad how much I loved him. Probably wouldn’t have changed a thing but I think it would have made me feel better.

It’s almost Father’s Day in the US, a holiday invented to honor fathers. If your dad is still around make it a priority to say hello. Life is short, don’t neglect letting the people you love know it.

Whether he is around the corner or across the country, there’s still time to send him card, a note, maybe a gift. If you are at a loss as to what to send try SendOutCards. Lot’s of great gifts there and still time to get it there. Here’s the catalog just type “Fathers Day” in the search at the top of that page and send him a card today - while you’re thinking about it.

 

Bill Bateman - Bill Bateman’s only son

 

PS - Veterans have higher than average suicide rates. If you know a Vet who needs to talk to somebody there are lot’s of great resources - Veterans Crisis Line is one




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