Just Me. Not Every Man, Just Me.

I can not, and will not, put myself in that persons shoes.

Im not going to apologize for my gender its not my place.

Im not going to try and defend one persons actions, because theyre indefensible.

I can only do the following: be the best person I can be, and try to protect and empower the people around me to the best of my ability. Anything else is disingenuous.

Instead of saying Im not that guy, Id rather say Dont be that guy, in a loud, clear voice.

Goodnight, Ma

When I tell people that I hit the lottery when I met Manda, Im not exaggerating. Not only did I wind up with the best wife possible, I got the best set of in-laws as well.

Trudy Fick did more than allow me to marry her daughter, and welcome me into her family. She was one of the most loving people I had ever met. Calling her my mother-in-law almost seems criminal, due to the stigma the term now carries.

The first time I met Trudy and John, they didnt know Manda and I were engaged. So, at dinner, she asked if I like animals. Well, dogs are fine, but Im more of a cat person. She responded, Okay, you can marry my daughter. She knew already.

We shared a love of baseball, and the Rangers. Each year, I made sure they got tickets to the Newberg Suite Night, and it was always a highlight. We would sit on the railing, sipping Shiner Bock, and look over at each other and giggle. Wonder what the poor people are doing tonight?

Trudys gone now. Her breast cancer came back with a vengeance last fall, and metastasized in her stomach and liver. She hadnt been able to eat anything solid since Thanksgiving, and her strength was down to nil.

A surgery to install a feeding tube on Friday night went well, but she went into septic shock Saturday morning. She didnt have the ability to fight it off, and now shes gone.

My hearts simply broken. Manda had virtually no time to prepare herself for this, and John is devastated.

And, after losing my mother in 2004, and Scoot last July, its pretty tough for me as well.

Fick, Trudy Doreen Bills

Trudy Fick, 57, passed away peacefully, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, surrounded by her loved ones.
Funeral: 10 a.m. Wednesday at Laurel Land Memorial Park of Fort Worth. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Laurel Land Funeral Home.

Trudy was born Dec. 15, 1951, to Noel and Mildred Peterson Bills in Springfield, Mo. She graduated from Central High School in Springfield in 1969, where she excelled in her studies and work in the drama department. She also served as a proud member of the Kilties Drum and Bagpipe Corps.

Trudy began her extended education at Southwest Missouri State University and transferred to TCU and Brite Divinity School with a double major of English and religion education. Her studies were interrupted when she met John and they married in 1973. She returned to TCU night school and graduated in 1997, just ahead of her daughters.

Trudy was a resident of Everman for over 30 years and was a longtime member of University Christian Church in Fort Worth. Her optimism and determination made her a 19-year breast cancer survivor. Trudy was a dedicated and hardworking employee of Shelton Ogle Schools. She befriended everyone she met, and never met a cat she wouldnt adopt.

Trudy loved her Lord and Savior, UCC, her family and work, genealogy research, cooking for her family, wild flowers, square dancing, bowling, supporting her daughters activities, her Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and Stars, TCU Horned Frogs, traveling around the country, the Ozark Mountains, and a special place called Hucky Puddle Beach.

She contributed to the community with years of service to the Everman PTA, Everman Girls Softball Association and the Everman Band Boosters.

With her sense of humor, and love of life, she will be missed immensely and remembered fondly by everyone who knew her. A kind and devoted wife, mother, sister, niece, aunt, friend and coworker, Trudy lived her faith in God and He continued to be with her at her journeys end.

Trudy was preceded in death by her parents; beloved aunt, Sal; sister-in-law, Diane Marie Sherry; and brother-in-law, Ronnie Fick.

Survivors: Husband of 35 years, John Fick; daughters, Manda and husband, Devin Pike of Aledo, and CWO2 Robyne Fick, stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany; her big brother, Bruce Bills and wife, Pat, of Roach, Mo.; her extended family, W.E. Dunnie Sherry and wife, Betsy, of Garland, Randy Fick of Fort Worth, Pat Tunmire and husband, Earl, of Rockwall, Rosie Archie and husband, Rick, of Fort Worth, David Sherry and wife, Tammy, of Mesquite; and many nieces and nephews.