Some of the people that affect our life are more memorable and have more of an impact on you and your family. These are the people that we tend to look up to. Many times we may even take for granted that they are there and will always be there. However, regardless of how we see things or feel about them, life doesn't work that way. Sometimes even the most special people leave us. We experience grief. We share memories. Those left behind hopefully become closer because we realize that we did have a bond. We were connected by our emotions for that person that linked us and reminded us that we truly are family - not bound by blood, but bound by heart.
This is what happened to my family. My father-in-law, Bill Dunbar was a man that valued friends and family. His laugh was infectious. He has more passion in his soul than you would believe any single human being could hold. His love of life, family, and friends was almost magical. His soul was free. He was able to show this when he sailed. He was able to maneuver through the water with ease and it was as if he was brother to the water and the wind. He was full of knowledge and generosity making him a memorable figure in every life he touched.
As part of his family, we knew this. We lived it and experienced it. And when we lost him we felt it deeply. It's expected because we are family. What we didn't expect was the generosity and outpouring of love and sympathy from the friends he made at the Tsa-La-Gi Yacht Sailing Club out of Okay, OK. They expanded what we knew of Bill and showed us the difference he made not only in our lives, but in the lives of others.
During his memorial service and afterward at the dinner they kindly provided for us in his memory we learned that Bill had been loved by many other people. He never failed to help someone with a project or a need. He was full of words of wisdom for them. He made people feel special. He was the type of man that they wanted to honor and remember. They extended this compassion and generosity to us, his family. The people at the club gave us a new view of Bill and went beyond the normal sympathy that friends show.
These wonderful and magnanimous people took us out on the water that our Bill loved to sail. They helped us remember him not only through our eyes but theirs. We prayed over the water, placed roses and flowers there to commemorate his memory and true love. We found a group of amazing people here in Oklahoma and understood how and why Bill would spend so much time there.
A mere thank you does not seem enough for all they gave us yesterday, but we do thank them all for what they gave us. We will remember it in our hearts and will keep them all in our prayers.
* Note: "TLG Yacht Club is located Southeast of Tulsa. From Wagoner south on highway 16 to the turn east on Gray Oaks Road is 7 miles. East on Gray Oaks Road for 4.3 miles to the second 4 way stop. North for 2 miles a sharp left curve then a sharp right curve to the Jackson Bay sign. Then left for .25 mile to the TLG gate. Jackson Bay Marina and Tsa-La-Gi Yacht Club are the same entity.