Monday, December 9, 2013

Kumquat, I will Miss You!!

I have several best friends. I actually wrote a blog about them a while back, but I also have a couple of friends whose relationship is....different to say the least. One such friend was Eugene Whitten. Eugene and I met in around 1993 and we were instant friends. He was loud and obnoxious and sooooo very hilarious. I was living in Rutherford, Tennessee and going to AA meetings in Milan, Tn and one day there he was, in all his craziness. He was a big man (around 380 to 400 lbs at his largest when I knew him)and we were like two peas in a pod. He came to visit me a couple of weeks after we met and stayed a few days in the tiny town of Rutherford and we had the BEST time!! My favorite memory is of Gene (wearing my big flowered bright housecoat), my daughter and myself running around in the grocery store shopping and for some reason we started yelling out the fruits that were available. Just walking along and belting out "Cantaloupe, peaches, watermelon, kumquat and pickled beets!!" I am still not sure how that last one got in there. Pickled beets. Pickled beets. Pickled Beets became his nickname for me. I always thought I should have been something cute like kiwi or star fruit, but he picked Pickled Beets. He became my kumquat though sometimes he signed his cards or notes to me as Kiwi. As it does life moved on. I found love and moved to Paducah and we lost touch for a while then came facebook and he found me on there and added me and I sent him my number and address and of course the cards rolled in. He would send me birthday, Christmas, or just everyday "I am thinking of you" cards. He would call me every week or two to check on me and we would talk for hours giggling and just being silly. Recently, he had to have surgery so he wouldn't be in touch for a few months and I was just thinking about him a few days ago and wondering how he was doing. My sister called me yesterday and told me he passed away. We are not even sure when or how, but my Kumquat is gone. My funny, loud, silly friend who often called me Smack Madam (if I needed a bath) and I would call him Jemima Puddleduck for the children's book, this special friend who made me cackle at the things he said is gone. I wish I could even begin to explain how I feel right now because though it doesn't seem real. I missed him before, but now it seems there is a Kumquat sized hole in my heart. I will miss you so much, Kumquat. I loved you dearly, Gene. Rest in peace.

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