I met Bill “Billy” Fulmer through my room mate Jim Perry when I lived in Fresno, California back in the 1990s. Known for the Superman shield, he was a very kindhearted, giving kind of guy. He was a loving father to his pride and joy, beautiful daughter Aubrey. His best friend was probably his beloved German Shepherd, Burt, but he was one of those guys who seemed to make friends with everybody. He had a passion for Rock music and riding motorcycles with his fellow biker friends. He played bass for a local Fresno area band called City Rocker in the 1980s, and owned a business called Fulmer Motorsports.
It was obvious to all who knew him that Billy had a passion for life, and lived it to the fullest. I know that is a well-worn cliche, but we all need to keep in mind that our time on this rock is short, and should act accordingly. Quit whining about what we can’t control, and enjoy the people and things that we do have in our lives and never take them for granted..
When most of us think of cancers of the throat and lungs, we think of smoking as the cause. Billy died from an aggressive form of throat cancer. But Bill never smoked in his life. Not long ago our mutual friend Sean filled me
in on all the details, and said that the cause was thought to be Acid Reflux Disease. But as a friend who passed away years ago said, “that’s neither here nor there”.
I think can all agree on one thing: Cancer sucks. It always seems to happen to the best people. It seems like every time you turn around, someone you know has just been diagnosed with one form of the disease or another. And another thing is a fact: there is no rhyme or reason with cancer. It just happens, and hopefully you are diagnosed early to maximize your chances of beating it.
In some cases the cause is environmental, in others hereditary, and in yet other cases, both. Sometimes the victim goes fast, sometimes they hang on for years beyond their “given time”, and sometimes, like my friend Eric, the victim even wins the battle.
As a doctor told a friend who won his fight with a form of leukemia, “eating that broccoli really isn’t going to make a difference”. That’s ok, I’ll keep on eating healthy, growing as much of my own food as possible, avoid junk food and take my chances on that lifestyle.
A wise person once said that if you have something good to say about someone, tell them now, don’t just share memories of them at their funeral. People will then stand up and talk about what a great person they were. Let them know, and do it while they are still here. Live Life Large. Have that big party while they are still here to celebrate them and share that precious time together. Enjoy what time you have left with your friends and other loved ones to the fullest. Be one of “those” people. Be like Billy Fulmer.
Rest in Peace, my friend.
This EDitorial is dedicated to Susan, Shellby, Kimberly, and everyone else who is fighting the fight (and those who love them). Stay strong. Be the brave warriors that you are. Keep Living Life.