Friday, February 28, 2003

Thank you Lee. What you wrote about Jack was just what I needed this evening.

Jack and I grew up together, better yet we were cousins. He lived down the street from me. His grandfather was my great uncle. We both loved his grandfather. Uncle George had quite a background. But what I remember most was his warm loving ways. Jack had a lot of his grandfather in him. Marisue will understand the impact his granfather had on him and why.

I loved playing with Jack as a child. We played on warm summer days forever and ever. One of our adventures included an unexpected ride on a train car that had been sitting idle for a few days. We had been playing in the car when the engine connected to the idle car. We got knocked off our feet, sat stunned as the car started moving, and then enjoyed the short ride to the cement place on the highway. For the both of us it was pretty exciting. Jack also taught me my first few colorful curse words. *laughter* We were about 4 years old, and he was teaching me the words, didn't know what they meant, but our Aunt did. *laughter* We both got spanked that night from our parents.

As we grew Jack watched over my shoulder. He was there even when I first got married and he knew the marriage I was in was not healthy. He never judged nor critized me for my decisions. Just told me to take care of myself and be careful. He always made his and Marisue's home welcome to me. Sadly I never took him up on it when I was in Pa. I was going to this year. I will be travelling back and forth to the States quite a bit. I was hoping to surprise my husband on one of my trips to come with me and we would go to PA for a few days so my husband could see where I grew up. Also to meet Jack and Marisue and a few others.

Jack's death is a reminder for me to not put off getting in touch or seeing people.

I'm very saddened by his death. As a relative I would be grateful if several people could give Marisue some extra support. She is a lovely woman and I am sure would be grateful to hear these wonderful stories about Jack.

I want to thank all the people that attended the wake. Marisue was deeply touched.

God bless.

I went to grade school with Jack Kamus at St. John's in Luzerne. Jack always had the coolest toys and was extremely generous with them. I once ran into him unexpectedly while he was unloading a snowmobile from a trailer. I think we were around 11 or 12 at the time. Before he went off riding, he offered me a ride on it and it was one of those incredible childhood thrills that I never forgot. He really didn't have to offer me a snowmobile ride, it was just something he did spontaneously.

Jack was also among the first to get a motorcycle. I got a very similar model and we used to ride them together. One time we were going up a steep, rocky trail and I downshifted from 2nd to 1st gear because I thought that the bike was ready to stall only to realize that it was already in 1st gear and I inadvertently put the bike into neutral. The bike immediately started rolling backward down the narrow mountain trail while picking up speed. As I went backward, I passed Jack who was coming up behind me and I watched in amazement how he coaxed his bike up that steep trail while pondering the eventual outcome of my trip down that hill backwards.

I crashed the bike and was laying there feeling a combination of panic and defeat, wondering what to do next when I looked up and saw Jack at the top of the hill sitting on his bike looking at me. He was just watching intently, presumably to see what I'd do next. I wasn't hurt and the bike was laying on its side, still running and spilling fuel on the exhaust pipe which was sizzling from the heat.

While considering my options I realized that it was possible to get up that hill. Jack had just shown me how to do it! So I picked up the bike, got back on it, and rode it to the top where Jack was waiting. I didn't know what he would say to me after I managed to perform such a boneheaded stunt. Instead of teasing me, he said, "Lee, I knew you were going to get back on that bike and ride it up here because you've got what it takes."

It was one of those defining moments in my life. Most of my friends would have had a good laugh at my expense at what must have looked like a comical series of events, but not Jack. He knew that I was feeling foolish for what I had done and instead of focusing on what I did wrong, he pointed out what I did right and gave me the confidence in myself to know that no matter what happens, I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and carry on. People all need friends like Jack who know how to offer encouragement when they're down. I'm sure Jack is doing the same thing for us now, and he's doing it from a heavenly vantage point.

Even at the young age of 13, Jack knew that if you treat people as if they were what they ought to be, you help them to become what they are capable of becoming. I'm glad to have had him as my friend.

Ann Marie, Bee sent the message using an auto-forwarder from my domain and I just forwarded you a copy of the message. If anyone else did not get Bee's announcement of Jack's death, please let me know. I have seen cases where my domain gets blocked by ISPs that are trying to prevent unwanted spam from getting through. I guess this is one of the downsides of spam, if you send out a message to multiple people, some mail server may reject it as possible spam.

I just received the following message from Marisue:

"I would like to inform you that my beloved husband Jack passed away on Feb 21. I am not very computer literate so maybe you could post an announcement for me? My no. is 570 675 7391 and my address is 53 Claude St., Dallas PA 18612. My email is Thank you very much, Mrs. Marisue Kamus"

So if you wanted to send a card or email message, or talk with Marisue, you now have all her contact information.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

I was really disappointed to not have received any email from Bee concerning the news about Jack. I have been trying to contact Marisue for several days now. Does anyone have a telephone number to contact Marisue?

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I am really impressed at how many of our classmates went to John Kamus' wake. We really are a special class! Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but I'm glad so many did. A special thanks to Bee for getting the news out to everyone so quickly.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

It is with great sadness that I report that Jack Kamus passed away on Friday. Bee will be sending out an email to inform everyone as soon as she has more details. You can check the obituaries of the Citizen's Voice and Times Leader on line but as yet, funeral arrangements are still pending.

Monday, February 17, 2003

I'm glad to hear that Terri is feeling better. I will keep you both and Terri's Mom in my prayers. God bless all of you. It's been difficult for me to write anything here in the blog since I heard. I sent you and Terri an email today Lee. I am glad to hear that your mother-in-law is doing much better.

Pop-up ads. Now that a subject that is a sore point with me. They are just plain annoying. I pray that google doesn't sell the blog out for the pop-up ads.

Well all of you in the tri-state area have had a life-time experience the past day or so with the blizzard. Now I am very envious. I have the romantic visions here of the storm...playing in the snow, sledding, snow ball fights, forts etc...and when it gets too cold, going in the house where Mom had hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies ready and waiting. Oh to be a child again. I guess the more realistic view is the dangerous wind conditions, lots of snow blowing and/or shoveling, cold, cold, air and achey bones.

I'm still envious!

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Thanks again everyone for your kind messages of support. Terri is feeling much better and we are getting over our recent disappointment. It was a very strange and wonderful sensation to think that we'd become parents after believing that wasn't going to be a part of our future, but we also feel that everything happens for a good reason, even if it's hard to see it at the time some sad or tragic event occurs. That's so often true when you look back at life. For instance, last September, my mother-in-law, who has a beautiful singing voice, came down with laryngitis that just wouldn't go away. She went for all kinds of tests and they could not find anything wrong with her. Eventually they told her that she had a paralyzed vocal cord. Well, what could cause that? This led to more tests which eventually revealed a mass on her lung pressing on a vocal cord nerve. Having lost her husband to lung cancer 5 months prior to that made it all the more shocking. But in my father-in-law's case, there was no health problem that had indicated he had lung cancer, just a slow health decline which, by the time any treatment was attempted, was too late. So in her case, losing her voice ended up being a good thing because she was able to seek treatment in time to find and shrink the tumor. Now, after 6 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, they can no longer see the tumor! Her voice is still weak, but should improve with time. We are very hopeful for her full recovery.

It seems that blogging has been in the news a lot lately. There is a recent news article about the service we use (Blogger owned by Pyra) getting purchased by my favorite search engine company, Google, which I think is great news. I've been a member of some discussion groups that were bought by Yahoo! and now they are festooned with advertisments. We all knew that sooner or later these 'free' services would have to figure out how to make money since that's the whole point of offering the service. But Google does a very nice job at being very low pressure and has so far resisted the temptation to use banner or pop up ads. I can hardly make a move within Yahoo Mail or Yahoo Finance without having to play the a game of 'whack a mole' with the nefarious pop up ads. I really like the way Blogger works and I'm quite sure that if we find ourselves running for cover from a bombardment of ads, there will be some alternative that arises to allow us to carry on here in peace. The archives are safely stored on a separate domain so they're not going anywhere and perhaps being a part of the highly respected Google family, the service will continue to improve. One can always hope...

Friday, February 14, 2003

Hello Everyone,

Lee and Terri, I like everyone else am also sorry to hear of your sad news but I also believe that with sadness right around the corner is joy, I've always told Bob that even though something bad happens, there's some sort of reasoning, (someday I'll figure out what that means), but with the bad comes the good and usually something good does turn out within about a month or so, I've never been wrong yet, just check out with Jay's daughter, there was a short term of sadness and now there's been a 90 degree turnaround and speaking of joy, who couldn't resist that Aiden, so see there is some good in the world. I know something especially good is in store for Lee and Terri really soon, I'm not psychic, just a believer of good things happening. Well, to go on to better things, Happy Valentines Day everyone, especially those who just read and for one reason or another don't contribute, consider this your Valentines Day Card, oh to be a kid again and receive those 30 or so Valentines Day Cards from your fellow classmates, oh the memories. This is my favorite day of the year, it's filled with love, joy, caring, fragrant flowers, teddy bears, cards, the color red and let's not forget the chocolate, but most important, our family and friends. Happy Valentines Day everyone!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Lee & Terri, I am so sorry. I'm sure this has to be so hard for you both. Like everyone else, I will keep you both in my prayers.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I just want to second Doc's emotion to you both. I will keep you both in my prayers...

My prayers and thoughts are with you both - I cannot imagine your feelings. We had a miscarriage before our first was born and i remember it being a horrible, empty feeling

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I'm afraid I have some sad news to report. Terri miscarried this week. We knew this would be a possibility given her medical history, but knowing it can happen and then actually having it happen are two different things. I didn't want to have to share this in such a public way, but once you announce that you're pregnant, there is no choice but to share the news when things don't work out as planned. We really do appreciate everyone's prayers and want to thank you all for your encouragement and support.

Monday, February 10, 2003

When we were expecting our first - Laura had cravings for McDonald's cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches -- we were living outside of State College, PA - and anytime we went out would pass a McDs - and hd to stop going and coming (even if we had just eaten). At about 7 months - i had to go to Pittsburgh on business (about 3 hour drive) and went to dinner and symphony with a customer - got back to State College at about 2am - Laura woke up very sleepily and first thing out was "could you make me a grilled cheese" - which I dutifully made

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Jay, that's great news about your daughter! We'll continue to keep her in our prayers and I am sure all the other blog readers will do the same. The fact that people are still checking into the blog daily and using it to keep in touch with each other is very gratifying. It feels like a virtual hangout that can be accessed from across the country and even from remote outposts like exotic little islands in the Caribbean.

Terri is still doing well, trying her best to take it easy, and craving for certain foods like ice cream, pizza, and BLT sandwiches which she consumes with great enthusiasm, albeit in small quantities. According to the ultrasound she had last week, she was 6 weeks along which dates the conception back to a certain day in December. It was a day where we had heavy snow and were left all alone without adult supervision. In other words, Christmas Day! I'm beginning to think Jay's mojo must have rubbed off on me, although I didn't see him until the next day at Boylan's, but when someone's got really strong mojo like Jay obviously has, I don't doubt it can make its presence known in advance. (Please exuse me if I've just shared more information than all of you really needed to know.)

We also discovered the source of the news leak. It was no doubt shared with Arlene by her sister (a church lady, no less!) who heard it from the priest, who heard it from, who else, Terri's little sister Lori. Just as we suspected!

We've sure spent a lot of time here talking of life and death matters so in an effort to discuss something more lighthearted, I'd like you to sing me a melody. Well, you don't have to sing it for me personally, but I have my stereo in the basement hooked up to the Internet with a web interface. You can click on that link to find a remote control panel and screen image and then scroll through my music library and select a song (or album) you want to play for me. This will add new meaning to the term 'remote control'. You won't be able to hear it yourself, but I certainly will, so please resist the temptation to wake me up at night with it. I'll be listening to hear what you've selected. Just click on the screen image to see what's playing.

Thanks again, Bee, for sending out your messages far and wide to encourage others to check in here periodically. You'd make a great publicist....and we'll get you as a contributor to this blog yet! If anyone else out there is itching to post but has not responded to an invitation or has forgotten how, just contact me via email and I'll get you set up.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Lee and Terri--I am so very happy to hear of your WONDERFUL news. God has truly blessed you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers! Jay, God is good!! So happy to hear that your daughter got good news. I have been reading but not writing as of late--but ALL of you have been in my thoughts and prayers.
God bless to all--

Jay - what wonderful news - PRAISE THE LORD -- please be very very diligent with follow up!

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Jay, I am so thrilled to hear the good news about your daughter! Don't worry, the prayers will definitely continue. Where has everyone been? I don't write much, but I always enjoy hearing from everyone.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

For those of you who have been giving your rosarie beads a workout, my daughter's doctor is about 95% sure that they caught all of the cancer. Thank God and all of you. We have to go back in six months for a follow-up, so please don't stop praying... It looks pretty good for the time being, though. How's it goin' Devlin family?