Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mean Gene

          I’ve had a hard time coming up with a blog entry today (I generally write my blogs the day before they post.) Sure, I’ve got a couple of back up topics in mind, but the way tonight worked out sealed the deal.
          Tomorrow morning Stacey’s grandfather is having heart surgery. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s a pretty big deal because of his age and his health situation. Obviously, the family is worried and concerned about the outcome, so tonight we went to her grandparent’s house just to check in before tomorrow.
          He’s nervous. Everyone is. As an outsider and a people watcher it stuck out to me. I’ve been around this side of her family quite a bit since we’ve been married and there’s never been this kind of tension in the air. Tonight the stress in that room was hanging thicker than the smoke usually does.
          Her grandfather, Gene McGuins, was and Army veteran from way back. His unit actually participated in the first above ground nuclear test. From my understanding he is one of the few remaining alive members, if not the only one. He raised one girl, Twyla, and three boys, Tim, Kent, and Jeff. Not to mention a slew of grandkids and a couple of great grandkids thanks in part to yours truly. This man has done nothing but work for his family since he was born. He’s an old soul: someone who believes in a hard, honest day’s work. He likes his southern cooking and his Hobo dog. Even at 76, when the weather permits, he’s out working on lawnmowers for people or just tooling about in his shop. He’s not one to mince words and he will definitely tell you exactly what’s on his mind and what he thinks about any given topic.
To me though, his most endearing of qualities is his acceptance of others. In 2006 when I met that side of Stacey’s family, he was ready to accept me into the family from the minute I walked into the door. I shook his hand and introduced myself and he told me to make myself at home. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time making myself at home at their house. As a matter of fact, when I was selling insurance, if I hit my goal early I would go hang out with them for the afternoon. Gene and his wife, Doris, and all of their kids have made this outsider feel like a true part of their family and while they’re a bit goofy (who’s not?), I feel honored to pull up a lawn chair next to any of them.
Remember Gene as you go through your day today. Without Gene, and men and women like him, most of us wouldn’t be here. His heart, though it may need some work, is undeniably the strongest muscle in this man’s body.
This spring when Gene feels up to it, I’m sure he’ll be out in his shop troubleshooting a lawnmower for a customer. Or maybe he’ll just be sitting under his tree with his beloved Doris and Hobo.

1 comment:

  1. I'll keep him in my prayers today. Let us know how his surgery goes!