Chicago Cubs: Billy Williams’ wife, Shirley, has late-stage dementia

Billy Williams, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Billy Williams, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs’ Billy Williams, a Hall of Famer, is by the side of his longtime wife Shirley Williams, who has late-stage dementia.

The Chicago CubsBilly Williams is dealing with a heavy heart. His wife, Shirley Williams, has late-stage dementia. Stage 7–or the final stage–is heartbreaking. Speech and communication are severely declined, if not completely. Eating, drinking and swallowing need to be assisted. It’s sad to what it’s come to.

The way he stood in the batter’s box? Fearless. He was a young man, claiming the National League Rookie of the Year. He had 25 home runs and 86 RBI. He missed an average of one per year. ONE. Still, he is as scared as the next guy who’s put in this position.

"“Shirley, she’s down with dementia,” Williams said. “She’s about four or five years in now. If you count stages, she’s at about Stage 7.” h/t Steve Greenburg, Chicago Sun-Times"

He lives in Glen Ellyn, and he cares for Shirley. The four daughters all live nearby in Wheaton–and occasionally stop on by to tuck mom in. And the nurses stop by from 10 am to 6 pm to help out where they can.

"“They’re good girls,” Williams said. “We’re lucky to have them.”"

She isn’t the only one. Nicolette, a granddaughter, is an intensive-care nurse in Palo Alto, California. She on the front lines against the COVID-19 virus every day.

Williams is grief-stricken, and it’s understandable. He spends all his time with her. And being Stage 7? Ugh. But he puts on a smile, even though he’s terrified.

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"“Everybody, please stay safe,” he said. “It’s tough after the coldness here in Chicago to have this happen in the spring, but we have to stay inside. You take care now. Please tell everybody to take care.”"

Wise words. COVID-19 is a pandemic of epic proportions. Here in North Carolina, it’s supposed to reach its peak in the next week or two, and then start declining. I hope. With a pandemic, you can’t predict it.