Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In the End . . .

I recently learned a neighbor of mine had passed away.  I suspect he was early to mid 80s.  He was kind, talkative, and very well organized.  He would email our street with anything important, bobcats in the area, unapproved solicitors or holiday parties.  I never had to worry about missing something because I knew Gene was on it.

Gene was a gentleman.  He was a good guy from way back.  In fact he was helping a friend into her car when he sustained the injury that led to his death.  Gene was assisting a friend into her car when she lost her balance, fell on Gene who then fell to the ground.  He hopped back up, I am sure out of pride just like we all do, despite being hurt.  Gene said he was ok and everyone went on about their evening.

It was approximately midnight when I was sitting in my office.  I had the shutters closed but knew when I heard a heavier engine than normal coming down the street something must have happened.  I looked up just in time to see the flashing lights come through the tiny openings that was left in the closed shutters.  I hoped for the best, hoped it was just some fluke and that all was fine.

It wasn't.  Gene's wife, Jane's life has been altered.  My heart is filled with so much sadness for her and her family.  I have seen first hand the toll the death of a spouse takes on his wife.

I remember when my grandfather was so very ill.  After probably the 10th hospitalization in 3 months I received a call from my sister.  "You need to come now!"  I said I would and hung up. 

My husband and I got dressed and raced to the hospital. We got there - talked to the Dr's who said this was it - his body was shutting down.  He was in pain but his crystal blue eyes would look at you and you saw love.  He slowly deteriorated and did not pass away for 2 more days.  My mother, sister and grandmother sat by his side, never leaving.  They carried on, told stories, laughed, held his hand but most importantly they were there to be with him.

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This is why you marry your best friend!
The days that followed my grandfather's death were hard.  Especially on my grandmother who had been his caregiver.  We kept her busy but no amount of busy can fill that void.

I feel for Gene and Jane.  It breaks my heart that she is now alone, in their home they shared for 30+ years.  She must now get a new routine, new habits and now she has a whole new year of firsts.  First Easter without Gene, first birthday without Gene, first Christmas without Gene.

Gene and Jane, as well as my grandparents, truly loved one another.  They were there for each other through richer and poorer and in sickness and health.  They were there!

Cheers to a long lasting marriage and being there through thick and thin!

Happy Pinning!

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