Apr. 22nd, 2015

akienm: (Default)
I remember has usually been about events as I observed them, because when I started this, my only plan was leaving snapshots for myself made of words. Now that this has impacted others, and grown to include things I've learned… I find myself wanting to save more. I would that I could have saved the ways things Gene made me feel. Like, yesterday, I wrote about my brother-by-all-but-blood, Gene. I wrote about the history, but not the feelings.

Gene made me feel things.

Today, as I dwelt on the end of his life, I briefly felt anger. Which surprised me. It wasn't here for long, but I was angry that things had to work out so that I would lose him.

Today I also felt profound sadness. An oceanic feeling of ebb and flow that I couldn’t but ride along with.
Yesterday, after I found out, was different… A shattering sadness. I suddenly found all these loose ends, this Gene shaped hole torn out of my life. As I've grown older, I have fewer connections, and each one became more important. You were important to me.

Gene made me feel powerless in the face of his depression. I wanted so much to help, but it seemed to me he needed a primary partner in his life, and I could not be that. Gene in love was so warm and bright. I saw him that way a couple of times. So… well, so not like Gene… And yet the best expression of him.

Gene's relationship with my families (yes, plural) was a wonderful thing. Watching him with my kids, or he and my dad talk so very long ago, was always a quiet, contented joy.

Gene made me laugh. He would clown around in his often quiet way. And then sometimes the quiet would just be the lead in for a much louder punch line.

Gene made me feel heard. There was nothing I couldn’t say to him. He gave me the most generous of listening. It made me feel less alone in the world.

Gene made me feel smart. I could tell that, while I admired much about him, there were things he admired about me too. While I wasn't quite the McGyver he was, I was awful close. And we could brainstorm for hours about how to do this or that impossible thing.

Gene made me feel stupid, but not in a painful way. I would be trying to figure something out and whip out some tool or part or whatever that I didn't even know existed, but that solved whatever it was perfectly.

Gene helped me to feel safe in the world. I knew if I ever called him with problems like the one he called me about a couple of weeks ago, he'd be there for me no matter what. Even if he didn't agree with whatever it was, the support of family was there. I feel just a little lost now without it.

Gene also made me feel like he had my back for smaller things, for playful things. Like some of the things we did at Faire. I remember David leading a parade yelling Make Way For A Bunch Of Drunken Sots! And Gene was right up there at the front of our little parade with David and I. I felt free to be joyful with him.

Gene was also there when I needed to vent pain. I don't know how many times I felt like life was crashing in around me, and yet I knew I could go to him. He helped me be strong and carry on.

For all of these things, and so many more… I feel grateful to have known you.


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Akien MacIain

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