Our dear cousin Gene died last month from a heart attack. He was only 72—at least I think he was. Who could be sure when he was so secretive about it. Rachel and I both loved him a great deal and it hurts to have him gone. I only got to know Gene in 1999 when I was living in DC. We had a running joke, about how we never would have gotten close had my mom not forgotten to invite him to my first wedding. We made it up to each other at my second (and final) wedding to Rachel when he and my cousin Eileen walked me down the aisle. I joked that he was filling in as my father, and so I made a point to call him on Father’s Day ever since. He didn’t have any children of his own, although his sister Judy’s kids adored him and he loved them like they were his own.
Rachel and Gene hit it off immediately when they met and loved each other very much. We have decided that if we ever have children, that we will name a boy after Gene and make sure that he knows who he was named after — we would be thrilled if he ended up like his namesake.
I miss him so much.
If you knew Gene, please share you stories in the comments. We would love to read them.