My Bill and I knew each other since we met in line for lunch at McConnell Hall in September 1982. We were 18 (well, technically he was 18, I was 17.) He was spectacular and clueless to his impact on everyone in his sphere. Such a beautiful man. Clueless. Beautiful. I miss him.
Over the years, we had regular correspondence, first by phone but from 2011 to 2020, on Facebook Messenger. I was memorializing his Facebook account knowing it held so many great conversations and a few unanswered questions. Would it all be lost? What to do with it? Just let it disappear? With his recent passing, I simply couldn’t deal with that. So, I went down the Google rabbit hole to find out how I could save our words into a single document.
It turns out you can – not only that, you can turn those conversations into a book!
My 125-page volume arrived yesterday and I have to say, I’m pleased. The Zapptales process was user friendly – exactly what I need – and fast. I submitted the finished book on 03 September and received the physical book, from Germany, on 14 September. Eleven days! And for 29.90 Euros + 24.95 Shipping (I know, ugh) it was worth it. A huge project was made super simple and … it is DONE. Nothing and I mean nothing, beats a finished project, especially one as meaningful as this one.
The first two raw read-throughs, I cried. So sad and so happy all mixed together. A reminder of what a gentle and thoughtful man; and, lovely and engaged friend Bill was to me over years.
By the third time through I had my “editor” hat on and decided to leave in the spelling mistakes, leave the links to video and music (though I put in brackets the content at the other side of the link), and add in the photos that corresponded to the messages – they’re far more recent so it made sense.
A couple of examples of how it looks:
I hate that I can’t send him a note, or receive one from him – on Facebook Messenger, e-mail or text. It truly breaks my heart. All day long I turn to tell him something I heard or something funny or “hey, we’re heading to Southampton with Lynne and Jeff this weekend, get ready!” and he’s not there.
Bill was the absolute love of my life. I am thrilled to have tangible evidence of us. We were real – I loved him and he loved me. I may not have him here with me now, but on those days when I feel down and miss him and wonder why there couldn’t have been more, I have evidence that there was enough.