I lost my Great Uncle this week unexpectedly. He went into the hospital the Wednesday after Memorial Day, to have the first Heart Valve replacement in Lancaster County, and everything went great. A day and half later, he caught double pneumonia, and it just wouldn't let him stay strong enough to fight it. As the days past, he just kept getting weaker and weaker, and he started having trouble breathing. The hooked him up to oxygen, but he wasn't able to eat anything solid, due to not getting the proper air. Eventually his lungs started to fill with fluid, which meant they needed to be drained daily, but after his kidneys started shutting down, the Doctors told us they could only make him comfortable, as it was just a matter of time. The only daughter they had, needed to make a decision as to what they were to do, since the oxygen and breathing machine were basically the only thing keeping him alive at this point. She gathered myself and my Dad together, and told us that she was going to tell the Doctors to take him off of the machine, and not let him suffer any longer. So, Tuesday morning, Gene passed away at 11:30 am. Today was the funeral, and it wasn't easy.
Even though Gene was my Great Uncle, he was more closer to me as a Father. He was very giving, and I remember numerous times, asking him for help, and he would show up ready to go. Even if he wasn't feeling good, or under the weather, he was always willing to help, even though it hurt. I remember the day I bought my first garden tractor. He was so proud of me, and he kept telling me that I should repaint it. We worked side by side for what seemed like forever until it was complete. I went to my first tractor show with Gene, and even though we didn't win a trophy, I still felt like a winner. He has been an inspiration to me throughout my life, and he would always encourage me to go 100% in order to reach my goals and ambitions. He was my mentor, and he will be greatly missed. Caleb was really looking forward to getting his tractor restored, as Gene was so excited for him to get started on it, and like with me, he wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help. I'm sorry that Gene won't get to see Caleb's finished tractor, but I'm really sorry that Caleb won't be able to enjoy the learning times with Gene like I had when I restored my tractor.
This was all quite a shock to all of us, but I know Gene is in a better place right now, and I can just see him running around everywhere, enjoying his new heart. Rest in peace Uncle Gene, and I look forward to seeing you again someday!