Requiem for Gene

Requiem for Gene

Today my friend Gene died. I met him on the Christian Cafe internet dating site a couple of years ago, and we started writing and calling each other on a regular basis. He kept asking me to marry him and I never knew whether or not he was serious so I just laughed. I mean, I live in Montreal and he lives in Washington state, but we did develop an interesting friendship through our phone calls. Gene knew more about me than most of my friends, so he became more than just a friend – he was my mentor as well.

I used to complain to Gene about my 15 year old son’s antics, and he would give me advice. He insisted I read Dale Carnegies book, How to Win Friends and Influence People with him. Now that I won’t be talking to Gene on the phone anymore, maybe I will find the time to do just that.

We talked about my and his dating episodes at our ripe ages, and gave each other tips and advice, probably which neither of us ever took. I mean, Gene was ten years older than me, but his sense of humor was sharp. He knew that in two days I will be meeting an old college friend whom I haven’t seen in 30 years, and that there might be some romance involved. I won’t get to tell him about that now.

A few years ago on the Oprah Winfrey show, they had four single doctors, handsome and all, and they invited single women to write in showing their interest in marrying one of them. Gene, not being a doctor, wrote in to say that he would like to present his candidacy for all the women who weren’t interested in the doctors. Oprah loved his concept and his humor so much that she had him on the show, and in repeats, he was on four times! If you saw any of those shows, Gene was the man who needed to find a bride before winter.

Sadly, winter came for my dear friend this week, quickly and without pain, surrounded by his four children.

Gene called me two days before he died, wanting to make sure I tried some of his Oregon Cream on my sore foot; he was going to send me some, as he claimed it healed everything from sprains to bursitis. He won’t be able to send that either now.

Gene, I miss you already.

A Wrinkle in Pillow

A Wrinkle in Pillow

Did I tell you that in addition to being middle aged, muddle headed and menopausal I am also a single mom to Aaron, 15 years old? Nothing, and I mean nothing,could have prepared me for raising an ado son on my own…my two older sons were homeschooled and therefore didn’t have the life and pressures that Aaron has. Most of the time I am a suspicious person, a fact that has gotten me into trouble in the past, but in March 2008, suspiciousness might have been a good thing.You see, I had gone to North Carolina for a week to visit my fiancee (no, he is not my husband now, nor is he still my fiancee), and Aaron stayed with his dad. Sometimes dads are just not as suspicious as moms. I think we have a sixth sense. So when I arrived home, the house appeared to be just as I had left it…except for one thing. There was a couch cushion missing from the living room. It wasn’t hard to miss because there were only two of them and they were brand new. I did look around a bit for it, but not intensively. However over the next day or two, the missing pillow started to bug me and I asked Aaron if he knew anything about it.You have to understand that Aaron is not a person who will volunteer to do anything, and so when he said he’d look around for the pillow, I started to get suspicious. When he quickly emerged from the basement with said pillow, my radar was really on. Sure I was happy to see the pillow, but on examining it, I noticed that it had a wrinkle that wasn’t there before. I pointed it out to Aaron, and also noted that it looked as if someone had slept on it.Very nonchalantly he told me that he’d noticed an open window in the basement, and that probably someone had been in the house during our absence. I mean, it was winter and the snow was higher than the basement window. What would you think?To be continued…here: