As some of you may know, my step-dad suffered a heart attack and passed away a week ago today. This is really the first chance I’ve had to do any writing (apart from his eulogy) since he first entered the hospital on September 18 and my family made a mad cross-country drive to see him. I am grateful to say that we arrived in time to share our love before he entered the surgery that he ultimately did not survive.
Today, I dedicate my blog post to him, Martin Eugene “Gene” Myers. Although Gene was not a great lover of the sea, he still took our family to lakes and pools because he knew how much we enjoyed it. He rode in my family’s boat on Grand Lake, swapping nervous grins with me when water sloshed over the back side because we had so many people onboard. Gene preferred to have his feet firmly on the ground.
Still, there is much of the sea that represents Gene’s spirit. He was as reliable as the tides, always where he committed to be, when he said he’d be there. His voice was a cool ocean breeze, salty, invigorating, full of lilting melody. He sang or hummed all the time.
If he were a fish, he’d be a clown fish, making us laugh with his crazy antics. Trying to set my little brother up on dates. Eating my science fair experiment. Planting a garden so big it would feed a whole city. Or maybe he’d be a sailfish, slicing through the sea with incredible speed, one of the few fish that manages to fly above water. Gene loved driving fast, watching fast cars, trains, and planes.
He held tight to his beliefs like a mussel clinging to rock. If he were an ocean plant, he’d be kelp, rising from the murky ground to reach the sunkissed surface where otters would wrap themselves in his loving and safe embrace. I will miss his hugs and his unconditional love. I will miss the ways he made me laugh.