ForeverMissed
Stories

Mom touched everyone

Shared by Joel Kozikowski on February 19, 2020
Last year, my sister Lisa needed to have a tree removed in front of her house.  Knowing my parents had just had the same work done at their home a few months earlier, my sister got the name of the tree service they used and gave them a call.  While talking on the phone, my sister mentioned she received a referral from my dad Richard Kozikowski.  The tree serviceman's response:

Wait... was that sweet lady your mom?   She was so pleased with my work that when she thanked me, she touched my face and I gotta tell you, I almost cried.  I have never felt so validated before in my entire life. She is such a sweet sweet lady
This story goes to demonstrate how special my Mom could make others feel.

Her Stuff

Shared by JILL KOZIKOWSKI on February 22, 2020
Mom K amassed a lot of Stuff.  Our family teased her about this.  Over the years I’ve thought about her presumed attachment to things.  Instead, I think she appreciated stuff for its ability to evoke old and create new memories.  I think she was attached to the LINK these items provided to her cherished past and the CONNECTION they created with people in the present.  She wanted to hold on to what was important about the past, present, and future.  “A day is never over if a memory is made.”  Indeed.

The family welcomes Steven to the world (sort of)

Shared by Joel Kozikowski on February 19, 2020
The Koz kids are helping Pop clean out some of Mom's old things. We came across this gem in a stack of papers. It is a letter my sister Lisa wrote to my mother while she was still in the hospital with Steven following his birth in 1972.  Today was the first anyone other than those two have seen this:

Dear Mom

I love you very much.  Much more than David and Joel. I wanted a girl, didn't you? But you had a boy.  Boys are brats. Now we have three brats.  I wish you had a girl so there would be two boys and two girls. Now I am the only girl. I will love him. I hope you come back soon with him. I want to see him.  Now I have three brothers. Do you know when you are coming back?  Did you want a girl?

Love Lisa

Git ‘Er Done

Shared by JILL KOZIKOWSKI on February 22, 2020
I often described my mother-in-law as a “no-nonsense woman.”  She did not obsess for perfection.  She was a “git ‘er done” gal.   And that she did.  She was a do-er.  A constant creator.   A fast mover.  Much shorter than I, but she walked faster and covered ground more quickly:  both literally and figuratively!  She had a curious, always ACTIVE mind.  She knew how to do so many things!  And she kept learning and adding to her skill set.  The mountains of pictures PROVE her vast body of work.

Make It Easy On Yourself

Shared by JILL KOZIKOWSKI on February 22, 2020
Mom K would often tell me, “Make it easy on yourself.”  I never could figure that one out.  Mom K seemed ever-surprised (sometimes horrified!) at the tedious endeavors I’d undertake.  Even so, she’d try to SUPPORT whatever project in which I embroiled myself.  It meant SO much to me when she’d invest herself in my passions, even when they didn’t match hers.

So Social

Shared by JILL KOZIKOWSKI on February 22, 2020
Mom K. enjoyed this world and the people in it.  Case in point:  while in the overcrowded hospital in Florida she preferred SHARING her room instead of a private room!  She like having round-the-clock company.  She was so social!!!

Monster Karma

Shared by Joel Kozikowski on February 19, 2020
One of the funny stories I have about my mother:

When I was a child, my parents decorated a "haunted garage" each Halloween. One of the fixtures in this display was a life sized Frankenstein monster. I loved monsters when I was a kid, and I even convinced my parents to set him up in my bedroom (pictured here).

There was a time, however, when my father thought it would be funny to position the monster at the top of the steps to our basement, behind the basement door.  Some fishing line ran from the door handle, through a loop, to the monster's hand, so when you opened the door, old Frankie raised his hand.  Everyone in the family knew about it, and we all got a kick out of convincing visiting friends and neighbors to give it a try.  It was very easy to forget he was there, however...

One evening, I did something that infuriated my mother.  I don't remember what it was, but my father was out of town, so Mom sent me to bed for the night.  As I laid in bed, sniffling and drying my tears, I heard Mom storm off to go downstairs.  A few seconds later, I heard her scream a horrible scream.  I grinned as I knew exactly what had happened: my friend Frankie had come to my defense :)

Evel Knievel Costume

Shared by Joel Kozikowski on February 19, 2020
In 1975, I was a huge fan of daredevil Evel Knievel.  This picture is of the first of two incredible costumes my mother made for me as a child (the other being one of Sherlock Holmes). This is actually a picture of my son Griffin wearing it when he was the same age as I was when I first received it.  I am pictured wearing it in the upper right corner.

Master joke teller

Shared by Joel Kozikowski on February 19, 2020
While Mom was successful in virtual everything she tried, for some reason the ability to tell a joke properly alluded her. While she had a great sense of humor, she just couldn't seem to correctly deliver the right setup or punchline, which ironically made the joke even funnier.  One of our favorite jokes she told:

An indian chief had two sons. What were their names?  Answer: Hot and Cold.
After a moment of silence and perplexed looks, she re-told the joke:

Wait!  Chief Running Water had two sons.  What were their names?
But by far the best joke she ever almost told:

How does a lawyer introduce his wife? This is Patty.
No. How does a butcher introduce his wife? This is Patty.
Wait!  How does a butcher introduce his wife? Meet Patty!

Outstanding Government Employee

Shared by Joel Kozikowski on February 19, 2020
Indiana Senator Richard Lugar presented Juanita with a $1,000 check as an award for winning Outstanding Government Employee\ for her work at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Appearances on Fox 59 TV

Shared by Joel Kozikowski on February 19, 2020
Juanita was selected by Michael's to represent the store on local television. She made several appearances in 2015, demonstrating holiday crafts that could be made with items purchased from the store.

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