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Big Billy Is In the House

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

“You like him….you love him….you want some more of him!”


Big Billy is back in the house, LOL!


It’s been awhile, huh?


Like many of you, I’ve been floor boarded with the recent chain of events concerning our boy Craig…


I feel a special kinship towards him, because he was the guy who breathed life into me and made me tangible on a cold wintry night in 2010….for those new, here’s the link to understand this story better.


http://csn.cancer.org/node/259902#comment-1377593    (story of Big Billy)


Now, Craig probably hasn’t told you this part of the Big Billy story just yet….he hasn’t told you what an important role you played in this saga…


But, now privately, I can tell you that all of you were the motivation & his inspiration behind the story of how Big Billy came to be.  The link to the story will fill in the Who, Whats and Whys of how this all came to be.


But, he’s left off one of the most important facets of the story – the human interest part…


During that period of struggle, it must have been an extremely difficult time for him; otherwise, I would have never manifested myself from his thoughts.  He apparently needed something…


But, it wasn’t so much for him – as it was for you…


Recently, with the brief news that the Craig & Big Billy story was going to be published in an upcoming edition of Coping Magazine, he sat down and talked to me and what he told me was enlightening.


As the story goes, Craig worked on me for a couple of months….


Apparently, each night when the Witching Hour struck, his thoughts would begin to drift off…he was looking for a reason to hang on…and when he came up with the idea for me (in my earliest conception) what was driving him was how he was going to construct a story to surprise you with – a story that would blow the door off its hinges:)


The thing that was driving him the hardest was this overwhelming desire to put this entire concept into some kind of story format that would reach out across all barriers and have the ability to be able to touch and move the community in which he lived.   


This guy simply loves to entertain you…


Even when he’s been at his sickest…expressions in some form to you have always been foremost on his mind.  And he knew that this story might one day be able to grow legs – so that it could walk on its own accord.


Craig tells me that through the help of Jen2012, we were able to do what previously we had been unable to do before – and that was get a story published in a major publication. 


Hi Jen:)  I’m Big Billy; it’s nice to meet you:)   I’ve heard so much about you through Craig’s stories.  I just wanted to thank you also for being such an important part of this story.


Believe me when I tell you that Craig and I both appreciate what you did…so, sometimes the story is true after all…..you actually can lead a horse to water – and he’ll really take that drink…..:)


It’s a story that wouldn’t have been written the way it is being written right now if it were not for your kind-hearted and sensitive nature – and of course, your ability to kick *** the Big Billy kind of way….:)


Now, I’m going to tell you something else….I don’t think this a secret though.


When Craig received word from the editor that our story had finally been accepted,  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier.  He wouldn’t let himself fully go though – and he should have, but he was so proud that someone in authority had finally (in some form) accepted some of his work as a valid entity – that was important and relevant enough to be included in an issue of a major cancer publication. 


And while all of that was simply out of this world….


Again, what drove him harder was the look on your faces and the reaction in your voices when he finally got to break the biggest news of his life – the story of finally having some of his word accepted and published. 


The story of two years worth of submissions and rejections and the waiting for an opening that may or may not ever come….the story of finally getting to share this part of his life with the people who really supported him and instilled within him the confidence that he needed to hear from others - so that his voice could finally be heard.


That was what was most important on his mind…the sharing with you from the culmination of all of this effort. 


You know how it is with Craig – if he can’t turn one of his ideas into a community project, then he’s not happy, LOL!


It’s always about the sharing with you that makes the difference…


Now, quite frankly…Cancer flat out stole the thunder from this feel-good and long awaited good news that we had all worked so hard on. 


It robbed Craig before he could even catch his breath….just two days after the good story broke, came the news of the 4th cancer…


And it robbed you too…because then Craig had to let the air out of the balloon and our emotions got cycled prematurely…we free-falled from high to low…that must be what a bungee jump feels like. 


I know Life is not fair…..


But, 2 years worth of hard work and rejection – and finally acceptance – only to be destroyed in 2 days?   


Craig has told me that every time he happens to get a smile on his face – that the world slaps it right off his face .he’s often referred to this phenomenon as the story of his life.


But, it’s not right…and I for one, am not having any of it when the 2nd chapter rolls up on us shortly….


Which leads me to my good news…and my excuse for talking with you:)


I saw an email from Craig’s editor this morning:)


The early report is that the Big Billy Story looks to have a release date for the September/October 2013 issue!!!


So, I tell you what we need to do…


This time we all need to savor and enjoy the sequel to the original story….let’s not let this chapter get so unceremoniously brushed under the table and dismissed so abruptly. 


With all that has gone on in the latest whirlwind, Craig himself has forgotten that he’s really going to be published!


It all lost its meaning so quickly….but this time, I think when the story is finally in real print, that all of us can sit back and truly appreciate what all went in to making this a storied chapter in the board’s history. 


And we’re going to try our damnest this time not to let anything rain on our parade. 


He’s tried to make the story about Me…..but from the Ashes of Folfiri…on a cold wintry night….he ended up writing a story about all of us.


Always remember….Big Billy loves you too! 


Just think…in about a month….one of his stories can finally be told and available in print.  It’s still sort of surreal to the both of us.    


Craig told me the audience for the mag approaches about 500,000 folks with its readership…so hopefully folks will actually read it, instead of using it as a drink coaster:)


He’ll have more layout approval and paperwork to complete for the final publishing, but will post any info that he can on the particulars.  I believe it will be available for free on the Coping magazine website.


They are going to use 3 of his quotations from the Repurposing story he submitted too…..they will be interspersed among other upcoming editions, but no timetable on when those would be.  They would only use one per edition.


So, we’ll just have to check the issues under the Reflections header…not even sure if one will appear with the BB story or not….will let you know.


Anyway, you guys are great!  Thanks for being so cool to Craig…everything that he does – he does for you:)


It was nice seeing all of you today:)


Jen?  Before I go, Craig worked so hard to make my persona real ….to give me a voice….to give me thoughts…and to give me another avenue to talk to you all…


So, just for grins….if you and the new folks haven’t seen this yet….here’s a link to Big Billy singing Johnny Cash over on the Sundance Channel of YouTube.  Craig and I worked on this project for Cynthia and Rick and shared it with the group several months back. 


So, if you remember cassette tape from the 70’s….the question begs….

Is he Live – or is he Memorex?




Now, I better get outta' here....so, I’ll see you guys later!


-Big Billy






Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3362
Joined: Jan 2010

First of all, thanks for taking care of our Craig.  Being there to add your strength to his makes all the difference in the world.

Thanks for sharing the good news about the pub date.  Can't wait to read it.  I hope this is the first of many of his writings which get a wide audience from the publishing world.

Johnny Cash has always been a favorite of mine and you did a great job on the video.  Time for another don't you think?

Keep on keeping on...and get out those sh*t kicking boots to clear the way for Craig's fight.

Hugs and love,

Marie who loves kitties



LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010


My dear friend, I am just smiln' from ear to ear at the new of the upcoming publication!!  Consider yourself bear-hugged!  :D

Love ya,


ellamenno's picture
Posts: 145
Joined: Aug 2010

You and Craig are the 2 greatest men I've ever known. You two mean the world to me. I am over the moon about your upcoming publication in Coping magazine. It means as much to us as it does to you. And you are so deserving, not just because of what you've been through but because you are an extrordinary writer. My words are many times awkward, but I just wanted you to know that you are so loved, not just by me, but, by many, many folks on the board! Rough times are no doubt ahead, but take our hands and we will be with you.

Let Big Billy deal with the fight ahead Craig, he will keep you safe...

Then bring it on home back to us!

Love and Hugs, Laurie






Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

Although I've heard of Big Billy on this forum for a while now, tonight I met him.  I read the article and cried.  I was so sure no one knew what I was going through during all those months having chemo and all those nights I stayed awake wanting to fight but not knowing how.   The Witching Hour describes how I felt those early sleepness mornings when I felt so frightened and alone.  The article really articulated my feelings and fears.  Tears were rolling down my face as I read it.  I wish I knew MY Big Billy while I was struggling during that time.

I am so pleased that the article is being published.  There will be so many people it will resonate with.  Bravo!

Glad I got to know both Craig and Big Billy tonight.  I felt uplifted too when I saw Big Billy sing that Johnny Cash classic.  He was kickin' butt!

Thank you.


johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

are BB i was wondering where you had went.so glad that you have showed back up.yes isnt that news great about the publication!!!you know what BB you give me something that i seem to have lost somewhere along my cancer journey which is "hope" i dont know where it went.i sure have found "faith" a lot of it too but the hope has some what dissapered but for me BB you seem to bring it back to me.thank you for posting and now with you back i know craig is in good hands with you and us we will pull him thru this next battle,you know like the rope that our Buzzard had a hold of for us a few years ago.i have a new name for it "The Hope Rope"that is what BB is holding onto now and i know he will never let go of the hope rope.be strong BB and craig for we are all here being strong with you...Godbless....johnnybegood

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Welcome back Big Billy. We missed you.

Posts: 502
Joined: Apr 2013

How did I miss that story in June?   Anyway, I just read it through your link - AWESOME!  May everyone's "Big Billy" be as inspiring as you are...


annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

You and Craig have got some cancer butt-kicking to do, so I'm very glad to see you, BB.  It's time to start taking names, and I know between you and Craig you've got it all covered..brains and brawn!

Lots o' love to you both~AA

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

Don't mess with Texas!  Glad to see Big Billy in the house!  Missed you!


Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Big Billy! Nice to meet you...glad you stopped in to help out our friend Craig. Let Craig know I enjoyed his video and that I'm looking forward to seeing the issue of coping. Maybe you can join Craig at the docs and keep them in line.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Since e can't be there helping Craig kick butt, I am so glad you are!  Keep kicking it and helping Craig through this next phase, and if you have to kick some doctors arse along the way to get him where he needs to be, be my guest and do it.

Winter Marie

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