I Will See You Again One Day 

Goodbye, uncle Gene. His pain ended this morning at 9:50. He was a good man, a hard worker, and he lived a good life. I didn’t see them nearly as much as I should have or wanted to, but we did meet several times a year for lunch, or we went to their house to see them. We used to love riding up to their house on the motorcycle, a beautiful mountainous drive!
Gene was my maternal grandfather’s brother, one of 10 siblings. We were so much alike, and I didn’t even meet him until 2005, when my dying Popow’s wish was to spend time with his brothers. I was 30 years old then. I took him to do that, and I was so thankful to meet them all, especially Gene. We hit it off right away, and I love his wife, Wanda just the same. We hit it off too! She is so maternal, and has helped me so much with that, by giving me a piece of that from her.
My Popow was always so proud of me, and loved me so much, and Gene saw that. I think he appreciated my genuineness. Being around Gene after losing my Popow in 2006 to lung cancer was like he picked up where Popow left off. He looked so much like him at times too, and that made me feel so good to have.
All my life, I never saw any of our family function normally. You might say, “What is normal anyway?” When I say normal, I mean healthy. The traditional layout of a family. Love, support, togetherness, helping and enjoying each other, fostering healthy relationships and environments. I did with my mom and step dad mostly, until I was 12, and always with my brother (unless he was on drugs), but we always saw a lot from other family that flowed into our lives and household. I do remember my mom trying to break free from it all, but she always went back to them. Our culture teaches us we have to do that. You don’t though. She followed the pattern from the time I was 12. She broke some of the cycles though, because there were some good things she did, such as teaching us modesty and to share.
When we left Gene’s house the first time I saw them in 2005, and then took my grandparents home to Toccoa, GA, I cried like a baby to my husband. I was so relieved to finally find a piece of family, even though so distant, who accomplished something in life. Who had balanced lives. Who sat and visited, peacefully. Who demonstrated love to each other, and togetherness, not fighting and debating, cutting the throat of your family. Who each handled their own stuff within their family, and we’re not buzzards or leeches draining the life out of others with repeated poor choices in life. They had careers, not just jobs. Their home was beautiful! Not that material things matter. Don’t misunderstand that. However, in my family, people always rented, and were moving a lot. Most lived in trailers. Nothing wrong with a trailer, or renting. I lived in a trailer by choice when I was 19 years old, and I loved renting when I was single! It was beautiful, clean, and home. I’d live in a modular home now, my only fear is tornados. Home is what you make of it. My point is, they were the only family I knew who gave me hope that someone was like me in our family.
I remember shortly after graduating with my associate’s degree in 2014. Gene was so proud of me for that. I didn’t make a big deal out of it, but one day, we were leaving from having a three hour brunch together at Golden Corral in Buford, GA, and as we walked to our cars to say farewell, he just hugged me, and told me he was so proud of me for who I am, and for finishing my degree, especially despite everything I had been through in life. I didn’t even really know how to receive that from him, and still tried to make it no big deal, but he insisted to me that it was a big deal. He went on to tell me that he knew I would finish my goals in life, and kept stressing how very proud of me he was. I will never forget that moment. It made me feel so loved by a family member. A biological family member. What you should be able to consider as always, unconditional. I have never really had that, with very few people at least, most all non biological.
One time during our visit, Gene told me about his relationship with his father. He told me he spent much of his life walking around with a chip on his shoulder, because he always felt like his own daddy never wanted him, and that always made him feel unworthy. I had to go to the bathroom when he said that, I nearly exploded with tears. I understood his feelings all too well. He helped me so much just in sharing his feelings on many things with me. I could sit for hours listening to him talk, telling stories from life. I did. I spent many hours listening to him and my Popow talk. When I get anxious about something, I close my eyes and breathe, and I imagine those moments with them. It was probably the safest, most peaceful place I ever felt, besides what I created on my own. I will never forget him. I am so thankful to have some woodwork he made that I hang in our home, and so many memories with him.
I told him two days ago to go home, to be with his precious mother who was such a wonderful woman! She lived to be 100 years old, a mother to 10 children whom she loved dearly. Their father left her for another woman. She never even dated again. She lived her whole life for God, and her children. I know she is in heaven. My Popow told me she came to him as clear as day when he was eating ice cream in his dying days in his living room in 2005. He said she had on the most beautiful gown, and the scenery was unbelievable. Just beautiful! He described a peaceful flowing water, and beautiful trees and flowers all around. He said it was then he knew he was going to die, and was no longer afraid. She reached her hand out to him, not saying a word, as if to say, I am here to take your hand. How peaceful! ❤️❤️
I told Gene two days ago to go on home to be with her, and my Popow, and sweet brother. I hope they all met him at that beautiful river my Popow described seeing that day to me. I know he is in heaven. I know I will see them all again one day. ❤️

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