I’m not a very emotional person. Or I should say that I never used to be. Once I got pregnant, it’s like everything had a meaning, and most of the time whatever it was, it made me cry. I still cry at random things – movies, talk radio, commercials, etc. But, I cry at bad thoughts a lot. I think bad thoughts a lot. Not bad as in wrong, bad as in sad, or painful.
Today is Gene’s Dad’s birthday; just seeing it on my calendar made me lose my breath. I look at Gene and the man that he has become, and I wonder why God would have him hurt so badly. He has already lost both of his parents at such a young age. He doesn’t show emotion about it anymore. Once the funerals were over he was stone-faced about anything having to do with his parents. Still is.
Gene’s Mom died from breast cancer that spread throughout her body in December of 2009 (I think, I’m bad with dates). Gene’s Dad passed in his sleep just this past Leap Day (death certificate reads March 1, 2012 though).
I thought that his Mom’s passing would have been the hardest on him. He was always such a “Mama’s Boy.” I used to give him such hell over it, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t say a word knowing she didn’t have as long with him as she’d hoped. Vera and I never got along though so at the time I never found it acceptable that she fuss over him like she did. After all, he had me, right? Ugh, I wish I could go back in time!
Judging by my previous paragraph I’m sure you guessed that Eugene’s passing was harder on Gene. Gene received a phone call at work on 3/1/12 letting him know that his Dad hasn’t shown up for work in two days. Obviously, a bad sign to begin with. I made a few calls and found that his car was home, but he wasn’t answering the door. I then called the landlord and the police. Gene left work right away to get over there, and I started on the long journey there as well. Before I even made it to the ferry the Police Department called to inform me that they found Eugene in bed, unresponsive. It seems he had laid down for a nap before work the day before and never woke again. Gene was there.
I think the big difference between the two is that with Vera, we knew the outcome. We knew it would just be a matter of time (short time). Gene got a call one day that said something along the lines of “get here, and get here now.” He was there with his Mom when she took her last breath. And she did it so peacefully that they barely noticed she was gone. I’d like to think that she had her favorite people there with her to make her feel safe enough to go (Gene, Eugene and her sister Virginia).
With Eugene, it was opposite for Gene. He felt remorse for not checking on his Dad more often; for not knowing that he wasn’t at work when they worked in the same vicinity. He felt bad that he died alone. What made things one hundred times worse was the fact that we were expecting a baby.  
As I’m sure most of you know, we didn’t reveal the sex of our baby, even though we knew it ourselves.  Eugene told anyone and everyone he came across that he was going to be a Grandpa. He was so excited. He carried around a picture of Emma at 9 weeks in his wallet, and brought it out to show the people he told. Before, during and after the funeral that’s all we heard – Eugene was ranting and raving that he will be a Grandpa in the summer.
After the day we found Eugene, Gene held it together pretty well. He had to. Eugene had done all the work for Vera’s funeral a couple years before and we had NO IDEA just how much he had done. I took about a week off work, Gene took two. We had to plan the memorial service, the burial, and what to do with all of his possessions. I wasn’t much help with moving his apartment and the garage sale and such because I was 5 months pregnant. I handled most of the bills and paperwork because Gene didn’t want to talk to anyone. I was fine with it. I did whatever I could to make him hurt less. I have no idea if I helped at all though.
The hardest part that March was nighttime. Once the sun went down and it got into the late hours of the day, and Gene’s body became tired, his mind began to wonder. I won’t get into it for his sake, but it was hard on him. It would be on anyone, and I’m amazed at how well he handled everything. I still am.
The day Emma was born Gene was so proud. You could tell that he wanted to show his parents his daughter. You could tell it broke his heart. It makes me feel bad that I didn’t want to have a baby while they were still around.
Fast forward to today. I stop and watch Gene with Emma, and my heart aches. His parents would have loved her! Especially Eugene. I see him in Emma. I want to tell Gene that… that I see them in her. But I don’t. I want to tell him that they would have loved her. But I don’t. I hate that he hurts. So I just don’t bring it up. Neither does he.
One more thing that gets to me is the fact that we never visit them. We haven’t even introduced them to Emma (that may sound silly). Growing up, my parents never visited gravesites; they said that the dead are gone and it’s just bodies left behind - that there is no reason to go back. My parents aren’t Catholic like Gene’s family, and I think that’s a big part of Catholics… to visit the deceased.
I feel bad for not being more emotional about Gene’s parents before, and now I feel like it’s too late. I don’t want him to dredge up all of those thoughts and emotions again just so I can explain it to him. But, I also don’t want him to think I didn’t care. I cared. I care. Present tense.
So, until the day that I can suck it up and have an emotional breakdown with my husband, I guess I will keep it all bottled up inside. Until then, I hope he doesn’t resent me for not showing how I felt.

1 comment:

  1. That has got to be tough; I can't even imagine. Sounds like you've done a great job of supporting him.