life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The difficult moments in our lives

In a way, the existence of Facebook and similar social media sites has made it easier to deal with the difficult moments in our lives.

Yesterday I saw one of my cousins on Facebook, talking about being upset and needing to lean on friends and family.

A short time later, another cousin, from the same branch of the family, was also posting about being upset.

So by the time I received not one, but two voice mail messages from other members of that part of the family ...

Well, when I returned my cousin's call, I was already prepared for the bad news.


My father was the youngest of five children. His oldest sister was 14 when he was born. He became an uncle for the very first time at the age of 8.

Eventually the family would grow, and my father could claim 11 nieces and nephews.

But now there are only 10.

My cousin Adrienne, the eldest of my first cousins, the one who was just 8 years younger than my father, passed away Friday after a long illness. She was 79. She leaves behind a husband, three children, and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Right now I'm thinking of a little house in Hackensack. The back yard was separated from Rte 80 by a fence, so every time we drove through that part of New Jersey we could wave to Adrienne and her family. You could see the Empire State Building from the kitchen windows.

Eventually they sold the house (there are condos at the site now) and moved to another part of the state before eventually retiring to Florida. But the memory remains.


November 9, 1965. The Great Northeast Blackout. New York was plunged into darkness. But Parts of New Jersey were unaffected, not losing electricity ... But ....

Adrienne and her family were watching TV. Suddenly the screen went blank. They assumed there was something wrong with the television set.

Until they looked out the window, and the Empire State Building just wasn't there.

I will miss you, cousin Adie.


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