Thursday, March 04, 2004
Mike's dad died yesterday. I'm not sure how old he was. Almost sixty anyway and far too young to die. He was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago and it wasn't a good diagnosis. The cancer had gotten to his bones and many other major parts of his body.
The sad thing isn't his death, but how little he's mourned. Gene fathered Mike, his two brothers and his sister with Gayle. He also fathered five other children with another woman. Of nine kids I think only Mike, his brothers, and Jared (half brother) still talked to Gene. Well, Mike's sister, Susan talked to Gene but only sporadically. Susan was adopted at birth so never knew Gene until she was an adult and she too came to realize what a unique and irascible person he could be.
So Gene died at 2:30 pm pacifc time yesterday and Mike's mom calls. Mike tells me and talks about how odd it is to feel nothing when told your father has just died. Not surprising since Gene was never a father figure in Mike's life. Gayle left California and Gene when Mike was just two years old so the only memories he has of his father are the few times he went to California and visited Gene (once as a teen and once as an adult). And Gene did briefly attempt to live in Oklahoma again but once he discovered that his sons here wouldn't be regular drinking buddies he soon moved back to California. So, as Mike puts it, Gene was never more than a genetic participant in their lives.
My impression of Gene is that he lived his life for himself. Sure he had periods where he cared about others but he could always be counted on to fuck it up and split for greener pastures. He was never apologetic about it either and seemed to delight in alienating the people who loved him. Sad to have that much family but in the end you die alone with no one to mourn your passing.
posted by Tamara - 8:58 AM -- Link to this entry
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