This is the story about my friend Bill, written by his wife, my dear friend Michelle. Bill is back there on the keyboard.
I met Bill in college. He had a charismatic personality, bright eyes with mischief in them, and laughter that followed him wherever he went. When he entered a room, it lit up. When I heard him play the piano I was a goner. The music oozed out of every pore, and it carried peace with it. He loved every kind of music, but where he shined the most was worship music. When he played the atmosphere of the room changed as if God walked in and sat down to listen. I say he has music down to his toes. To share it, talk about it, play it, develop it, and encourage others in it was his heart. We fell in love, and married. Music remained in our household always. Keyboards, guitars, drums, you name it we had it and having jam sessions was the norm.
February 2, 1988 our lives changed dramatically. Bill was in a severe car accident and sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The years following the accident were more than difficult. Music disappeared. I took one of his keyboards to the hospital to aid in recovery and he wouldn’t touch it. He threw the tape players I took for him to listen to. It seemed that he had an aversion to music and my heart was broken by this. His recovery was slow but steady, and I am blessed to say that after a few years he had made an almost full recovery…music included. There were residual brain issues that still remain, but he is functional and has learned to cope with the deficits. Music again took up residence in our home, and our four children all benefited from a dad who exposed them to all genres.
Four years ago, the kids and I began to notice some personality changes in Bill and depression crept in as well. A trip to the doctor revealed that his brain was regressing…twenty-eight years post-accident. My heart plummeted. This news came on the heels of my battle with ovarian and uterine cancer and diagnosis of diabetes. It seemed we couldn’t catch a break. As we grappled with this new reality the music receded from our house. I was worried. It was as if he lost all interest.
God began to work, and about that time Jessica started Find Your Food after our now infamous hike up Mt. Yonah. I knew that to do what I had been called to do I had to address my weight. After cancer, my motto was to live fully. Weight was hindering that full living. I signed up in the first mentor group, angry that I was in this place yet again after a life of dieting failures. Bill agreed to do Whole 30 with me. We were diligent. We didn’t cheat once. We lost weight, but more importantly we felt better. After 30 days, Bill said he wanted to continue because his brain fog was lifting. At that statement, I was in for the long haul. We continued to do Whole 30 and still are. I have lost 50 lbs., and reversed my diabetes. He has lost as well, and as dramatic as all that is, my husband coming back to life out of depression and finding music again has been the highlight of our Find Your Food journey. I know God has plans for us. I have started a new business, and we are involved in a mission’s organization in which we travel to other countries on mission trips. I believe there is more coming, and our new energy has opened the doors for us to follow whatever plans come our way. But for now, I am celebrating music. This week we opened our home to a group of young people with instruments. We gathered around the piano and sang. The atmosphere in the room changed, because the atmosphere of our home has changed. We have found our food.
Find Your Food | Find Your Life | Live!
This is one of the most delightful things to see... Bill back at the keyboard. I've been one of those fortunate people to be encouraged in my worship and my music by Bill Gunnin! His story of coming back to life and living on foods that set him free is WHY Findyourfood exists...