He was always there for our veterans, always there for our servicemen, children in hospitals, his own friends and family in need, and even a hysterical stranger in the airport. And what I haven’t yet shared was that during our walk to the gate he got me laughing. Impersonating people we passed by. Making fun of the TSA agents, especially the one who gave me such a hard time. In a playful way, though. Not insulting (even though the guy totally deserved to be insulted). He told me I had a wonderful laugh. A beautiful smile. And when we parted ways, he hugged me. With his famously hairy arms, he gave me a huge, warm, bear hug, and it sustained me. It was a moment I think about all the time. That moment saved me. And sustained me. He sustained me during one of the most difficult moments of my life.
He was as kind as he was funny.
His death is so terribly, terribly tragic. That someone who brought so much light and joy to others felt so much darkness inside.
Rest in peace, Mr. Williams. May you find the peace that eluded you here and may you keep the angels laughing.
Thanks for being there that day for me. You were the angel I needed. And I know you spoke from experience, and I appreciated that.
It was tough news for me to hear that Monday. It continues to be tough news for me to process.