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.