It was last summer, 2012, 16th of June and the weather that day was threatening rain or at least that’s what the weatherman was predicting anyway. I always loved meteorologist, Tom Skilling’s weather reports, as he was always so optimistic and generous with his forecasts, almost as if he was the one who controlled the day’s weather himself. It could be a blizzard outside, with three feet of snow already on the ground, and he would report that a beautiful day would soon be ahead of us. I always got a kick out of his positive outlook.
Even though the skies above me were blue as could be and full of continuous sunshine, Tom was still predicting rain for this Saturday afternoon, but I was hoping that it would hold off until much later in the evening, as we had a very special day planned. We were having guests over for a BBQ and a swim, as well as surprising them with a special gift. This day was not only going to bring a day of excitement and happiness to all, but, by day’s end, it would also leave every one of us filled with devastation and in complete disbelief.
My family and I have been making yearly trips for the past several years to Shannon, Illinois to a place we absolutely fell in love with the first time we saw it called, Hickory Hideaway. Hickory Hideaway is a cabin resort that is planted within 10 acres of peaceful bliss and is just minutes away from Lake Carroll, cornfields, fresh air and hospitality that surpasses any place we’ve ever stayed at before. We decided to stay at Hickory Hideaway for sky darkness so that we could watch the annual Perseids Meteor Shower and, being in the country, away from city lights, this was the perfect place. We had made this a vacation tradition, where once it got dark, my family and I would hike to the field behind the cabins and cozy ourselves deep within our chairs, covering ourselves up to our necks in blankets and bug spray, looking up toward the northern sky for a breathtaking evening of “oohs and aahs.”
Knowing how beautiful an experience it is to watch a meteor shower, especially one that can shoot up to 60 or more meteors an hour directly over your head, so close that you feel you could touch them, I wanted my best friend, Donatta, and her family, to also experience such beauty. I not only wanted to share this with Donatta, but I also wanted her to share in the serenity of the cabins, the peacefulness, not to mention the breathtaking countryside that surrounded us. I knew Donatta would benefit from such a paradise, therefore, I spoke with her daughter, Emily, where we both decided to surprise her mom and dad with a one-night stay, where all they had to bring were their jammies and toothbrushes.
The Perseids Meteor Shower is always in August, usually peaking between the 9th and the 14th of the month and, with it only being two months away, Emily and I had to prepare weeks before so that when they came over that Saturday afternoon for a BBQ, we could surprise them with their gift. To make it exciting, I decided to prepare several gifts that were clues to this one night cabin getaway. Of course, none of them really gave too much of a hint about what was going on, until the end of the surprise when the gifts were more telling. One gift consisted of a map, which had an arrow pointing south. Another gift was a huge basket of marshmallows with a lighter and a handmade fire pit. But my favorite hint was a balloon that was filled with confetti, hundreds of silver stars that we managed to pop and sprinkle over Donatta’s head as she read the quote inside, “The stars are the street light of eternity.” With every clue we gave Donatta, she became more skeptical, wondering what we both were up to. In the end, she was pleasantly surprised with a one-night stay at Hickory Hideaway, where it left her in complete tears. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and planning for a trip that we knew would be a memory maker.
As the evening became darker, we could see that Tom’s prediction of rain was just off in the horizon, where we saw lightening strikes brightening up the skies toward the west. It was turning 9:00 p.m. and I felt pleased knowing that the rain didn’t come sooner and we had a chance to play all afternoon outside and in the pool. The wind was picking up and the streaks of lightening were getting closer, but we sat and had another cocktail and decided to wait until the storm got closer before heading inside. We wanted to take advantage of every moment this wonderful evening was offering.
In the meantime, Frank went inside the house to check the weather on the TV, when he noticed the red flickering light on the answering machine, indicating that someone had called leaving a message. Being outside the majority of the day and evening, we didn’t realize that someone had called. Pressing the button, Frank heard that it was a message from Carol, our sister-in-law, who is married to Frank’s brother, Geno. A few short moments later, Frank came back outside looking a tad perplexed, telling us that Carol had left a strange message saying, “Frank, this is Carol. I need you to call me back as soon as you can.” Frank shared with us that Geno’s plans for that day was to go on a motorcycle run to Wisconsin, but now Frank had a feeling that he was in an accident. Frank wanted me to go inside to listen to the message myself but, with Frank being the over exaggerated person he is, I thought he was taking the phone call out of content; therefore, I asked Arla to go inside and listen to the message for me, as I knew she would be able to make sense out of it.
It was only minutes later when I realized that the lightening was just about overhead, therefore; we all decided to finally move the party into the house. One after another, we went inside, where I found Frank on the phone, speaking with Carol’s friend. The tone of the atmosphere was enough to stop everyone in their tracks, as if our feet were suddenly fastened to the floor. It became eerily notable that the conversation that Frank was having with Carol’s friend was not one of good news. She was calling on the behalf of Carol to tell us that Geno was in a motorcycle accident. As we all continued to listen, it was noted that Carol and her friend were on their way up to the hospital in Wisconsin, where the ER physicians were working on Geno. Getting off the phone, Frank confirmed that Geno was in a motorcycle accident, which took place in Waukesha, Wisconsin and, by the way it sounded, things didn’t look good.
Listening to Carol’s voicemail message myself, she sounded extremely shook up, almost as if she was lost between reality and a surreal world. It was becoming apparent to us all that this wasn’t just a motorcycle tumble and a “road rash” kind of accident, but something much more serious, a situation that we soon realized we all needed to prepare ourselves for.
Frank told Carol that he would begin making phone calls to the family, informing everyone of what had happened. Because our family is so large, whenever there is an emergent situation, there are certain point people who, once receiving the news, will begin to call other siblings and report what’s going on. These family members will then make phone calls, extending the news on down the family chain line. With this form of communication, it doesn’t leave just one person making hundreds of phone calls to others. Frank called his brother, Mike, and shared the desolate news. Frank told Mike that he would keep in touch with him regarding any news he learns. So, now it beings, where Mike makes his phone calls, making sure that the rest of the family learns about the severity of Geno’s accident. Not only does this method get the news out to everyone in a timely manner, but it also begins something just as important, the prayer circle. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
“Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.” ~ Charles Finney
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” ~ Matthew 18:20
The afternoon buzz of fun and alcohol that I had caught from being with friends had since been slapped out of me. I felt as if I had been standing there for hours, observing from the outside, as if I was watching a movie drama about someone else’s family tragedy. As we all stood in the back art room motionless, we were all listening to the conversations that Frank was having, only to realize that with every word spoken, we were all comprehending the severity of what was really happening.
We realized that Carol had left us this message at 7:00 o’clock that evening. She even tried calling Frank on his cell phone but, because we were swimming all day, Frank decided to leave his cell phone in the house. We realized that two hours had already passed since Geno’s accident and Carol had been trying to reach us this whole time.
It was then that everyone realized the severity of what was taking place. An unexpected rush of grief came over me and I found myself standing there, crying hysterically, only to be joined in by the others. Donatta had asked Emily and Arla to take me into the front room, where I could sit down. While there, Frank had asked me to find the number to the Waukesha Hospital online, so that he could call the nurses’ station in the Emergency Room to see if he could find out the details and extent of Geno’s condition. Once again, Frank’s experience of working in a hospital for 26 years has taken him directly to the source of information. Dialing the number, he had asked to be connected to the head nurse in the Emergency Room Department. By now, both Donatta and my family have gathered in the front room, where they each claimed a seat, patiently waiting to learn about the state that Geno was in.
Pacing back and forth from the living room to the dining room, Frank was connected to the nursing station in the ER, where he introduces himself, letting the nurse know that he is calling regarding his brother, Eugene Morin, where he was just informed that he was in a motorcycle accident and was brought to Waukesha Hospital. Taking Frank’s cell phone number, the nurse said that she would call us back, once she had some information about Geno and his condition. I think we were all hoping in the back of our minds that Geno’s condition was trivial, with only a few bangs and bruises to report.
As Frank waited for the return phone call from the hospital, Frank decided to call Patrick and Bubby, letting them know that Geno was in a motorcycle accident. Bubby was already in bed sleeping. Danny, another brother, happened to have been in town for a visit and was staying at Patrick’s house for a few weeks. Frank delivered the news to Patrick and Danny and told them both to wake Bubby up and relay the news. But, they both had decided to wait until they heard more information as to what was going on. As Frank is ending his conversation with them both, letting them know that he will call back once he has some more information, we all see on the TV screen, the caller I.D. flash on the screen, “Incoming Call from Waukesha Hospital.” I yell to Frank that the hospital is calling and he hangs up from Patrick and takes the call from the hospital. It was the nurse from the ER, who was calling us to give us an update on Geno’s condition.
We all stop talking, practically stop breathing, as we listened intently to the one sided conversation, hoping, praying that it wasn’t as bad as it sounded but, by the words that Frank were speaking, it didn’t sound hopeful whatsoever. Once Frank absorbed all the information that the nurse had given him, he relayed to us that the ER physicians were working on Geno feverishly, giving him CPR, a statement that worried me even more, placing images into my head that made me cry even harder. The nurse shared that Geno’s heart had stopped and there were 30 doctors, nurses and medical staff trying to revive him. His brain was also not functioning, meaning he had no brain activity. Remembering my mother and her lack of brain activity from when she was in the hospital, I knew the outcome was unpromising. The nurse was very honest and straightforward with Frank, saying it didn’t look good and asked Frank to prepare himself. The nurse promised to call us back again shortly, once she had additional information. Hanging up the phone, Frank relayed the latest information to us all who were now sitting together and praying, where only moments before, we were laughing and planning for a wonderful vacation.
Walking back to my art room, I had gathered up all the Saint Prayer cards that I always had displayed on my art shelf, bringing them back to the living room where everyone had gathered. I was hoping that by holding them close to me, praying to them, that my prayers would become stronger, making a direct connection with each, as they helped my prayers get delivered directly to God’s ears…
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Saint Therese The Little Flower, (My Patron Saint)
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Saint Michael the Archangel
Saint Thomas Moore
Saint Francis of Assisi
Being the spiritual person I am I was starting to picture Geno floating above high above us, above me, above all his loved ones, as he prepared himself to say good-bye, leaving his physical body to go home spiritually to be with God. It was then that I looked above me, pointing toward the heavens and said, practically demanding, “Geno, you cannot leave us. You get back into that body of yours right now, damn it!” Regrettably, my commands were ignored.
Pacing back and forth from room to room, Frank begins to chant, “Fuckin Geno! Fuck Geno! Geno, what the fuck?!” almost as if asking Geno what did he get himself into this time. It seemed that when the Morin boys were younger, especially Geno and Patrick, Geno would find himself in all sorts of quirky predicaments. Like the time when Geno was a young boy. Taking a hatchet, he decided to chop away at a beam in the basement. Hitting the wooden beam over and over and with every swing getting louder and louder, Geno didn’t realize that he was making all this noise directly underneath a bedroom, the same bedroom where his father was trying to sleep. Geno hacked away until his father went down to the basement to discover that he wasn’t only practicing his hatchet technique on a wooden pole, but it was the main support beam of the house! Yelling at Geno, the father asked, “What in the hell was he thinking of?” Telling the story once himself, Geno confessed, “There was a wooden pole, there was a hatchet, and I was one bored kid. I was determined!” Of course, listening to Geno tell the story, animating as he did, made you laugh so hard, your side would hurt.
One of my favorite “Geno Stories” as we call them was the time when Geno decided to wash his Harley at 2:00 a.m., after getting home from being out riding. What else do you do at 2:00 in the morning from being out all night… sleep? Not Geno. Splashing and wiping away at his bike, Geno noticed that he had company, a visitor who was sitting on his fence just outside the garage watching every motion he made. Of course, not only was it early in the morning, it’s was also dark outside. Geno continues drying off his bike, as he begins a one-way conversation with what he thought was the neighbor’s cat. He continues to call out his invitation, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.” Hearing it hiss and growl, it was only then that Geno realized he was extending his hand to tickle and scratch behind the ears of a mother possum most likely protecting her young. It was only weeks later that Geno encountered the mommy raccoon again, as he and his brothers were chasing the raccoon back outside with a broom, as somehow it made its way into their basement.
My thoughts bring me back to real time as, once again, Frank cries out another “Fuck Geno!,” as he paces back and forth, surely Frank, in some way, was hoping that Geno was just in another one of his many self made predicaments.
Frank starts another round of phone calls to Mike, Patrick and Danny, giving them updates on what the nurse had told him. Frank also added, “Say your prayers, it doesn’t look good.”
Through the many phone calls that were exchanged within the family, Frank found out that his sister, Debbie, had plans to drive up to the hospital to be with Carol. Frank agreed to be in contact with Debbie, while she was on the road, so that she would learn updates, too.
As we were all talking, each of us speculating on Geno’s accident, we see again that evening the caller I.D., Waukesha Hospital, popping up on the TV screen. As we all come to a sudden hush, Frank answered the phone to hear the nurse giving the same report that the doctors are still working on Geno. Frank went onto ask the nurse what Geno’s injuries were, knowing that they must have been quite severe to have such an elaborate team of medical professionals working on him. Frank’s response in return was, “Oh shit!” It was obvious that Geno’s injuries were extensive. Frank shared with us that he had multiple traumas, with massive injuries to his chest and head, multiple leg fractures and he had already lost a massive amount of blood. I felt as if I was on the set of my own Grey’s Anatomy show, watching the play-by-play of this terrifying event. I continued to pray, asking God, Mother Mary and all my Saints that I held tightly within the palm of my hand to give Geno back to us, to make him survive this horrific ordeal.
Through the many phone calls that were exchanged within the hour of us finding out about Geno, we gathered enough information to learn that he was on a motorcycle run with some friends in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They were on their way back from an afternoon of riding when there appeared to have been some geese in the middle of the road, as well as a lot of geese excrement’s, therefore, we understood it that Geno probably swerved off the road to avoid the geese, resulting in this dreadful accident. No, Geno never wore a helmet. It was his choice not to.
With the house phone on standby for when the hospital calls, Frank used his cell phone to call his brothers, reporting Geno’s condition. We all wait patiently, praying that the next phone call we received would bring good news; that the men and women with the medical knowledge has miraculously, somehow, saved our dear loved one from death.
I begin to pray:
Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit and relieve they sick servant, Eugene Morin, for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of the mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
My living room consisted of many broken hearts, all of us grieving in our own individual way. Tanner sat on the couch, silent. Arla’s tears were keeping in tune with my own, shedding more and more with every piece of information we received. Donatta and her family were our Rock of Gibraltar, the strength that kept us all together, without falling apart into millions of little pieces like the rest of us were doing. I would never want to put any family members in a situation that I did them that evening, but my heart was so thankful that they were all there, that Donatta, my own wall of strength was there, for us, for me, keeping our mind sound and in the right focus. If they weren’t there, surely, we would have begun to make our own trip to Waukesha, Wisconsin, but with the storms that were hitting us, as well as our state of mind, it wouldn’t have been a good combination for traveling.
All of us sat there, watching the TV, waiting patiently for the hospital’s number to appear on the screen, calling giving us an update. It was only moments later that we had finally received that phone call. Soon, we all realized that it would be the final phone call that we would receive from Waukesha Hospital.
As if on cue, Frank switched phones immediately, picking up the house phone to answer the hospital’s call that was coming through. As Frank walked back into the dining room from the kitchen, almost as if he was materializing out from beneath the shadows of the darkened room, I will never forget the way Frank announced to all of us the latest news about Geno. I felt as if I was watching Frank in slow motion, coming toward us from the other room. He held the phone up to his left ear with his hand while still talking with the ER nurse. Frank’s right hand motioned a signal for a throat slash, as he moved his index finger horizontally back and forth across his throat. His head sorrowfully shifted from side to side, gesturing to us all that it was all over, done, as if our heart and minds were being held captive in a three-day hostage crisis and were now suddenly set free. Our evening’s ordeal had at last come to an end, telling us the final fate of Geno’s demise.
The final call came from the nurse, where she reported that the doctors worked effortlessly, to the best that their skills would allow them, working on Geno for hours trying to save him, but the damages were just too severe and Geno passed away at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, June 16, 2012. The day that started out to be a memory maker, ended in tragedy. This will be an evening that my family and I will never forget.
I immediately went to Frank, wrapping my arms around him, sharing between the sobs how sorry I was. Donatta soon followed with hugs, as well Keith, Emily and Audrey. Arla wept on my shoulder, while Tanner sat silently by himself. Tanner was melancholy, as earlier that afternoon, he was playing the guitar that his Uncle Geno had given him. We all grieve and experience death in our own way. Tanner was hurting in silence and this memory of playing the guitar earlier that day was now striking a painful chord within his heart.
As Frank was the main mediator throughout the evening, he now had the responsibility to make the devastating calls and share with everyone that Geno was no longer with us. First, Frank calls Patrick and Danny, where Frank tells them that it’s now time to wake up Bubby and relay that Geno had died. How do you tell an almost 95-year-old mother that she had lost a child that night and to a motorcycle accident? Practically all the Morin boys rode motorcycles growing up, as well as into their adult lives. Riding was a part of them. It was in their blood. Did Bubby always fear that this day would come, that it would eventually become a reality?
Frank spoke with Carol after the hospital pronounced Geno dead, but Carol was in a state of shock all her own. Our hearts ached for her, my heart ached for her, as I tried to imagine what she must be going through. I’ve experienced a lot of loved one’s deaths, who were close to my heart and, as they all left me one after another, there was one thing that I have come to realize… just because I have seen many deaths, it does not make the experience any easier. One does not become an expert at mourning. It does not teach you how to be strong and nor does it prepare you for the next death that secretly awaits. All it does is remind me that I am human, with infinite feelings, where my heart literally shatters to pieces, as if it has never experienced such sorrow before. Geno’s death was strongly affecting me, sadly, more so than my own mother’s.
My mind drifted back to that morning, when I came down from my bedroom to prepare for the day’s events, only to find Frank on the phone again. He was always on the phone chatting with someone. If it wasn’t with family members then it was with friends. Stepping into the art room where Frank was standing, I asked him, “Now who are you on the phone with?!” My thoughts were that we had just gotten up; how can he be on the phone already? As Frank reached for the keys to my truck, he announced that it was Geno. Geno had called that particular morning because he was concerned about me driving my truck, as he heard that it wasn’t running properly. He didn’t like the thought of me driving around in an unsafe truck, therefore, he called, asking Frank to go out to the garage so that they could troubleshoot things over the phone and try to figure out what the problem was. Instructing Frank to do so, they both shared a morning laugh as Frank proceeded to the garage. This was the last time that Frank ever spoke to his brother. I was suddenly grateful for the fact that Frank did have some form of communication with Geno that day, some exchange of words and camaraderie, even if they didn’t realize that it would be their last.
Debbie, who was on her way up to the hospital to be with Carol, found out that Geno didn’t make it, therefore, turning around and coming back home. The news traveled quickly throughout the family, as well as it did with friends. I had sent a prayer request out earlier to my Facebook friends and family. The responses for prayers that we received were absolutely overwhelming and the outpouring of love and concern that was extended was absolutely beyond words. All the prayers that were set in motion for Geno could have lit up the skies. Perhaps, this was Geno’s guiding light as he made his way to the heaves above.
Posted: June 19, 2012
Motorcycle Crash Claims Life of 61-year-old Man
A 61-year-old man from Mundelein, Ill., was killed after he failed to negotiate a curve on his motorcycle on westbound Highway LO at about 4:07 p.m. June 16. The motorcycle left the roadway, struck a telephone box and a road sign before coming to rest on top of the man, police said. He was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital with extensive injuries. He died at about 10:25 p.m. There were no passengers on the motorcycle, and the driver was not wearing a helmet. The police are continuing their investigation.
After Geno’s passing, while driving home from work, I had put on a Willy Porter CD. The Song, Unconditional, came on and, as Willy sang his song, it didn’t take me long to reflect on Geno. As I listened to the words, I started to cry uncontrollably, as every word he spoke, every emotion of the song, reminded me of the special someone we had lost.
Unconditional by Willy Porter
There’s a woman with a baby sitting next to me
As we ride the crooked train into New York City
She holds that child on her bended knee
Whispers something that only he could hear
She says I will always love you no matter what may come
I carried you inside myself the two of us are one
No matter how you fall down or how it comes undone
To me you will always be shining
And he stares into her brown eyes above
Into the face of unconditional love
I see a man laying in the street
Left his motorcycle at a high rate of speed
In his eyes there’s a vacancy
But he seems, he seems to be smiling
Oh maybe he was a Muslim a Christian or a Jew
I hope that he was laughing when off that bike he flew
Maybe he struggled to believe just like me and you
As the ambulance is too late arriving
And he stares into the sky above
Into the face of unconditional love
Sometimes I’m impossible sometimes a rage and roar
Sometimes all the dreams are spent, strewn across the floor
And I see myself reflected in your eyes
All the tragedy, the hope and the fear
So in my hour of dying when the light is clear and clean
If it helps read from the bible don’t hook me up to those machines
Just stay by my side as I slide
Into some peace
Give me strength over what I’m afraid of
In the face of unconditional love
Donatta and her family had left later that evening. Extending sympathies once more, they told us that if there was anything they could do for us that we should not hesitate to ask. Closing the door behind them, I once again felt very thankful that they were there. As I sat back down, I realized how exhausted that I was, that everyone was, not only physically, but mentally. The day had brought events that nobody was prepared for. Locking up the house for the evening, we all went to bed, where we hoped to get some sleep, even if it was for a little while. Frank immediately drifted off to sleep, as it was only moments later that I heard him snoring the evening’s aftermath away. As I laid in bed, starring up at the darkness, my mind wouldn’t give into the rest that I needed. I kept reliving the evening in my mind, fighting with those infamous words that we all may have confronted from time-to-time known as the “what ifs.” What if… he didn’t go on that run to Wisconsin? What if… the geese weren’t in the middle of the road? What if… it was just 20 minutes earlier, would the accident still have happened? What if… God just needed him more? I ended my thoughts by praying to God and my family in the heavens above, asking them to please accept Geno into their caring and open arms as he crossed over, making him feel content, loved and not afraid. The night’s sleep was sporadic, but I did manage to doze for a while, only to wake up to be reminded that Geno had left us, that he died, and no longer with us. Once again, reality had set in and all the events from the night before came rushing back to me. I tried to calm myself back to sleep, where I could dream of Geno standing at the Pearly Gates before St. Peter, where he strikes up a conversation, saying, “Don’t wait up for me, St. Pete. I have my own set of keys to the Pearly Gates. I found them on a bus!” Clipping the keys securely to his belt, Geno walked through the gates, where his heels clicked against the clouds beneath him as his keys bounced and jingled ever so lightly outside his pant pocket, letting the others know who passed before him that he had made it safely to heaven; that he has arrived.
As I decided to dedicate my next blog to my brother-in-law, Geno, I started pondering how I was going to write this story. A part of me was concerned, as I didn’t want to raise old wounds. I didn’t want to bring back a hurtful memory for some or offend anyone by sharing what had happened that evening. One morning, while waiting for one of the two elevators that takes me up to my office floor, I took mental notes of what I wanted to write about. Stepping into one of the elevator at work last week, I looked down onto the elevator floor and there resting before me was one single silver confetti star, the same kind of star that I had placed in Donatta’s surprise and popped over her head almost a year ago. The next morning while waiting to go up to my office, it was the other elevator that brought me up to my department floor. Again, looking toward the floor, there laid another silver star, the same kind of star that I just saw the day before in the other elevator, but this time it was a bigger one. I had the urge to pick it up, but I didn’t. A soft smile spread across my lips, as my thoughts brought me back to exactly what I had planned to write about… Geno. Perhaps, this was his sign to me, letting me know not to worry, that it would be okay to write my story, in remembrance of him.
This piece is my dedication, a tribute to Eugene Morin, who most likely not only fought for his life on that emergency room table almost a year ago, but who also fought for the many men and women of our country. Geno was a Vietnam Veteran, where he was a medaled soldier in the 1970’s. Every year, on the last Monday in May, Frank would call up his brother not only to wish him a Happy Memorial Day but, most importantly, to thank him for his services as well, for honoring, protecting and fighting for our country, for our freedom, for us. Thank you Geno… we love you and miss you dearly!