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Old 01-23-2018, 05:35 PM   #61
Grand Villa
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,480

Hey everyone ,

Thank you for the kind words about my dad. I haven't been back to write anything in a couple days because well you know how hard it can be to accept and acknowledge all the sentiments of condolences. I know my dad was well-loved by many. I even wrote him a note in a Christmas card this year which said that very thing and thanked him for letting me share his journey after my mom passed. So I knew he knew that too.

The last couple of days have been frustratingly busy but I think we finally got everything worked out. Our Parish Church which we've been members of for 47 years is insanely busy and had numerous funerals to balance this week. We had to push the funeral back to next Tuesday January 30th 11 a.m. but I finally got everything all organized yesterday. We're going to do a visitation with family, friends, colleagues on Sunday at the funeral home in Ellicott City. I scheduled that for after our regular Sunday mass. I went to church on Sunday with my godson in honor of my dad. And I will go again next week whether or not I am alone

I went to my dad's work yesterday to collect some photos. Gave me a chance to check in with everyone there. My dad's partner is closing the business on Tuesday so that all his staff all the people he shepherded through life could have a chance to say goodbye to him and see him off into the next life. I didn't expect that at all because Tuesdays are busy days for the lab. But as I said my dad was well loved and respected.

Those of you don't know my dad was a director owner a Friends Medical Laboratory in Baltimore since 1963. This lab that specializes in drug testing 4 drug addiction treatment facilities. The service helps addicts keep themselves honest and get their lives back together. The main reason my siblings and I were never even tempted to do drugs was because we knew our father would find out and we heard so many stories of how drugs destroy lives. My dad would see that every time he was called to testify as an expert witness in court.

Because my dad worked in the field so many years and had such an amazing influence on so many people I expect there will be many more condolences to come. They are all appreciated.

I think one of the reasons I titled my blogs Grandpa Mohawk is because he was my oldest and dearest role model. Like so many he helped me find my place in this world where I could feel like I was making a difference. He was incredibly patient (ok he had his grumpy stubborn male moments) and wise and he loved to have fun. ( Good clean Disney fun.) He hated conflict so much so he avoided it. I think the only reason he could finally let go and be with my mom is because my family (my siblings and nieces and nephews) are as close as we could ever be right now.

That didn't come easy. There have been fights and conflicts throughout the years. But my siblings and I have matured and their kids are closer than most cousins ever are. Our trips to Disney, the beach, Williamsburg, movies or just our Sunday Gatherings to watch football over the last 14 years is what has helped us become so strong and United.

I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous responsibility my father has left to me. It is up to me to organize or call for family gatherings. I have a household to run, financial responsibilities to meet. He did make some preparations so I have tools at my disposal. And my three siblings are pledged to help me. I need time to work all that out. Just as I also have to figure out how to be entirely independent and fly without a safety net. I won't have my buddy who can just relocate to Florida for weeks at a time. But I still want to be that world Traveler. I'm working on figuring out how to make that work. And I have a nephew here who can help some but is still a young man just starting his life in college. He is 18 and eager but caught between Adolescent and adult. The call to be with friends and play is stronger and sexier than boring adult responsibilities. Just as the call to lean on someone more than you should is my temptation.those are tricky things to navigate.

For now I've got a crap ton of things to do before I can say goodbye to my dad properly. I've got picture boards to make up, prayer cards to design, a mass program, and a goodbye remembrance video. That and my regular paying work are things that will keep me busy for the next week.

One of the funny things I found going through years worth of photos was all the photos I found of my dad Grandpa Mohawk with his smiling fans. I don't remember all of your names but you made my dad smile. He always did get a kick hearing about all the things posted on the Forum or if someone in public called-out "Hey that's Grandpa Mohawk!"

I'm sharing his obituary here. https://www.harrywitzkefuneralhome.c...Robert-Kokoski

I do not expect attendance, flowers, donations, etc. but if all of you could wear something purple on Sunday and Tuesday and say a little prayer for my mom because now she has to deal with the celebrity.

I'll try to post some of the pictures of gathered over the years of my dad with you in Disney. If anyone has any pictures in there collection maybe you can post them here? I didn't take pictures all the time with my camera though I know I took many with other people's cameras. I felt awkward about taking away from your moment and his

That's all for now and thank you! I know the next year is going to be a challenging one for me. But I figure I have a lot of angels pulling for me now.
--- SSR LOVER ------
--- Marriott Owner | SSR, BWV & BLT Owner| PWC user ----
Grandpa Mohawk Travel Blog | Twitter @BroganMc

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Old 01-23-2018, 05:42 PM   #62
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Jen, hugs all round.
Me:Kelly DH DD18 DS16
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:51 AM   #63
Grand Villa
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Well written, but everything you write is well written Jen. Love the obituary picture. Iím thinking GM would have loved it too. Purple on Sunday and Tuesday, you got it! Prayers too.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:22 AM   #64
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Location: Canada
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Iím so sorry to hear of your loss. Iím new here but read through your post so wanted to leave a message... your family sound wonderful, lots of wonderful memories to find comfort in, hugs.
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:46 PM   #65
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Jen, I'm so sorry for your loss. I've always enjoyed reading the adventures of you and your dad! I will keep you and your family in my prayers...
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:22 PM   #66
Grand Villa
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,849

Jen as others have stated. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I just read about this on another thread about TRís and of course your adventures with dad was constantly mentioned.
As you have done in your TRís and it seems through living life. Even now you bring such grace in honoring Grandpa Mohawk.
I bet he is smiling down and happy you got the dress. Stay strong, Jen. Your zest for life and travel and the lessons learned from him, will be with you forever.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:56 AM   #67
pooh bears mom
Grand Villa
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Location: New England
Posts: 3,057

I just saw this now going through older threads. I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You wrote a beautiful tribute to your father. He was obviously well loved by all. I am sure he is missed.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:00 AM   #68
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Just saw this. Sorry for your loss. I have enjoyed all your trip reports and the bond you had with your dad.
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Old 03-21-2018, 06:38 PM   #69
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 280

I am so saddened by this news. I had no idea that you had lost your dear father. I thought I was misreading your current TR.

Grandpa Mohawk will be missed, but you know he and your mom (was she GrandMA Mohawk?!) are looking down and cheering you on! They raised an amazing family and as their daughter you've got lots of life to live and Disney trips to make!

They will continue to be proud of you in every way!
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