He was in the pits watching the race unfold before him. The sounds of engines roaring and tires squealing filled him with adrenaline. They’d worked hard this year to get the car running smoothly and his role of crew chief was drawing to an end. The smell of diesel and dirt might seem overpowering to some but he loved it. He took a deep breath, inhaling the familiar and soothing aroma. He started to feel a little ill, sweat speckled his forehead and he thought perhaps he had eaten something which hadn’t agreed with him. Then there was pain; an explosion in his chest and throbbing in his left arm. Gasping for breath and maybe mercy he stumbled towards his pit crew. His eyes rolled up inside his head and he collapsed, his body met the heated, dirty asphalt and sirens rang out in the distance.
Billy Sr. was rushed to the hospital barely clinging to
life. Although he had managed to survive the heart attack, he had slipped into a
coma. The community of racers at PGARA Speedway were devastated.
My brothers and I had never met the infamous Billy Sr. Over the
next few days we heard plenty of stories as people reminisced and drank and hoped
that maybe God might see fit to spare his life. I felt for my
family of course. They had been close to Billy Sr. and he was a good man – one
who deserved to know his future grandchildren, one who deserved to live. My
family was hurting and for my part I could do nothing to ease their pain, nor
even share in it, at most I could give my sympathy and prepare to give
A few nights after Billy's heart attack he came to
visit our family. At first I had no idea what my mother meant. He was in coma after all.
How could he visit my brother who slept across the hall from me? Apparently
even at death’s door Billy Sr. could not be dissuaded from putting others at
ease, indeed from being a good guy.
My brother said he dreamed about a conversation with a man who was in a bright and beautiful room. He looked calm and happy. My brother went
on to describe the man in great detail right down to the stubble on his face.
My mother pulled out the racing team’s photo (over fifteen different men) and asked
Greg to identify the man he had spoken with. Without hesitation my brother
identified Billy Sr.
My mother was astonished but she managed to ask, “What did
Greg glanced up and said, “He told me
he was in God’s waiting room, but he’d be home soon”.
That night Billy was taken off life support; he passed away silently. But his message to my brother has
lived on and although he is missed, he is no longer mourned.
For he is Home.