Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A lot to add

Greetings all. The past couple of months have been filled with many "ups" and a very dramatic "down."

The upbeat news will follow the sad so this entry leaves you with a smile, not a frown.

First, actual news. I had my CT scan last week and see Dr. Z this coming Friday for my three-month post-operation checkup. I hope that if there were positive results on the CT I'd have heard by now, so I guess things are moving along well.

The sad news was the death of my mother, Beatrice Spitz, on April 5 (pictured at right nearly ready to attend granddaughter Jenny's wedding in December).

While not unexpected after her lengthy illness, it was nonetheless surprising because of her seeming daily improvements.

Between the time of her discharge and her death, though, she had many pleasant moments.

Like, days before her discharge, when we took her to a Spring Training game for her birthday (right, with granddaughters Karen and Kim and daughter-in-law Catherine behind her). It was her first Major League game since the 1950s.

She also had many family visits since her transfer to Orlando in late November (such as this one below with granddaughter Kim).
We took her to SeaWorld Orlando a couple of times, to the mall, to restaurants regularly and outdoors from time to time.

She also was blessed in December by being in attendance at Jenny's wedding (at right, with Chris putting the wrong ring on Jenny's finger as Kim, a notary, officiates).

I truly believe she had a wonderful month prior to her death. And I think she was happy I was doing so well post-cancer surgery. She died knowing that I'm on the mend.

There really are no words to describe my feelings about this loss, except to say she was loved by so many and I know that this love will never die. Mom's family, her many friends and even acquaintances have made contact with me to tell me clever quips about her, stories I hadn't heard and stories I have. Those are the things that we can rely up on to remember Mom. I am sure she's in a better place with her wonderful parents and sisters and brothers nearby.

Now for some upbeat news, and Lord, we need it.

It had been about 1 1/2 weeks since Mom's death when I decided it was time. Time to look into the other half of my family. I'd know my father Mel Kohn, died in 1992. He had been estranged from Mom since before my birth and I had no contact with him at all in my life. I'd found an obituary for him a couple of months ago and decided to track down the survivors listed -- four children. They would be my two sisters and two brothers.

So at home before work on Thursday, April 17, I did some computer research and tracked down Amy Jones, my sister. Of the three other siblings, one, my brother Andy Kohn, had passed away in January 2007 after a lengthy illness, but another brother, Dan Kohn, and sister, Tracy Jones, still live out West.

Amy and I had a wonderful first contact, relating some good stories and shedding tears over our too-long separation. Since that time, I've spoken to Dan, an aunt, Joan Kohn, a cousin, Arlene, and two nieces -- two of Amy's daughters, Grace and Abby.

I've sent along photos and my family out West is in the process of getting some to send me.

I've only known myself as an "only child" -- it's part of my identity. So this has come as quite a shock, though a wonderful shock it is.

I'll keep everyone posted as things progress, but for the time being Catherine and I plan to travel to California in June to meet the other half of my family.

No comments: