Stories: Who We Have Lost

Our Sister

Story aboutDina Kogan (2 of 3)

Dina always held craft fairs in the Spring and at Christmas time. She was always in the same cow costume for Halloween ever since I could remember. She would sit outside of our mother’s apartment building handing out candy from a huge bowl with her every Halloween. And when we would bring the kids to visit, she would let them take so much candy. Practically the whole bowls worth. She would always call food companies and get us free samples and coupons. Dina would make Jeremy his favorite crochet stuffed animal, an elephant. This elephant was continuously put in time out too! Dina’s door was always open to Stephen’s friends and his girlfriend Kayleigh, whom she also thought of as her niece. And Joseph. Dina loved to cook for Joey’s big appetite. She loved to make him his cheeseburgers in the microwave. Dina would always text us reminding us to charge our phones and to stock up on the essentials, especially if there was bad weather in the forecast.

Our favorite place to go out to eat was the buffet. Dina would always load up a heaping plate full of shrimp, and it would never fail that she would end up coughing. That would come to be an ongoing joke we would have with her for years to come. All Dina ever wanted for Christmas was yarn and sneakers. She loved her board games too. Especially collecting any and every version of monopoly that she could find. She had tons of gizmos and gadgets, a hot dog machine, popcorn machine, cotton candy machine, slow cooker, you name it, she had it or at least planned on getting it. Dina always went to Joseph, Stephen and Jeremy’s baseball and soccer games as well as Teagan and Avery’s dance recitals. In Florida she would go to the boy’s dirt bike races. She never missed a school event. She loved wearing her long skirts and floral blouses. She loved all her nieces and nephews so much. Avery, the youngest, was definitely her little side kick. Her little mini me. Dina loved that Dawn could fit 15 people or more in her selfies. Whether it be at the dinner table or all of us stuffed in an elevator somewhere on a vacation. We would go to Chinese auctions held at her church and bagel bingo held at her homemaker’s group at the rec center. Dina loved her big bird bright colorful umbrella that she bought when we were all at sesame place in Pennsylvania. She loved seeing the Macy’s day parade in New York City and at Christmas time all the tree lightings. We could just drive around for hours looking at all the beautiful houses that were decorated. She loved our family barbecues. We had one for every and any occasion you could think of. She loved the Easter egg hunt’s, birthday parties, and ringing in the New Year together. She loved Bombino’s pizza and Gino’s pasta night as well as a nice soft serve ice cream cone from Mr. Softy when we heard his truck coming.

Our Sister

Story aboutDina Kogan (3 of 3)

Dina always donated blood and plasma religiously. She never missed a chance to help others. She would hand out blessing bags she filled up with toiletries also. Dina was very easy to make happy. She was always grateful for the little things in life to make her smile. Just something as simple as her taking home some napkins from McDonald’s to help us out and save money on buying paper towels. Same goes for buying food for her. I can still hear her saying, “no, just get for the kids I’ll be ok”, If we were low on funds. Dina was always about the family. Always wanted to be with the family, and always good to the family. Every time Dina met one of Teagan’s friends, she would say so happily, “Hi I’m Teagan’s Aunt”. She was always so proud of her family and so happy to show us all off. Her face would beam. Every day in New York, Dina would take Avery to school for me and pick her up. She did the same thing here in Florida. Taking her to and from the bus stop so that I can go to work. Including watching her for me until I got off. Avery spent so much time with Dina, as did all of our kids when they were young. We are all better off for knowing Dina. I don’t think she realized the impact she made on so many people’s lives. I will never forget her good heart and her funny little jokes she would tell. And that laugh of hers. She always gave off happy, positive, loving energy. Dina always wore her pink sweater and pink jacket, however her favorite color was yellow. It’s a little ironic that she passed from covid, and the covid color for awareness is yellow. We always knew that Dina was different and special. However, we are more aware of it now. We all see Dina’s worth, her uniqueness and accept her for who she was.

Dina was a woman of God. Her love for God was unimaginable to most people. Always going to church and reading The Bible. Making friends wherever she went. She would have bible study at home every Saturday with her friend Janice. Dina always taught us to pray before each and every meal. She never let us forget. And to always forgive others and not hold grudges. To treat others as if they were your own family. The world has truly lost a wonderful soul when Dina left us here on earth. Heaven gained a beautiful angel. She is now with our parents and grandparents and in the loving arms of Jesus. Life is short, and one day we will all be gone. We may not have a chance to say sorry or hug them that one last time like we always think we do. Love your family and friends and treat them good while you still have the chance.

I am ending with Dina’s favorite Bible verse. Psalms 21, verses 3 and 4.

Verse 3. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be there God.

Verse 4. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

In loving memory of our sister Dina Kogan: 3/7/68 – 8/18/21

"Knight in Shining Armor"

Story aboutDavid E. Lillie

Love Letter Straight from Dave’s Heart

You have made my life so real to me
I hope you know that it’s TRUE
I think that’s the way it was meant to be … I hope you know it’s true

And you know …
I will always LOVE YOU

Please cherish this heart that holds all our Love, … we can use it all of our life
I want to thank the Lord up above for letting you … be my

loving wife

… I love you …
… always …


Story aboutMiguel A. Cortes

My only sibling, my brother, was a fan of all the holidays but mostly Thanksgiving and Christmas because he was a like a big kid. He enjoyed the festivities of food during Thanksgiving and being with family. Christmas was for all the gifts he received from family. He enjoyed his Reese’s candy with a Coca Cola, but mainly enjoyed being surrounded by so much love. His love was so pure.

We miss him so much. Holidays will never be the same.

The Day My Life Changed

Story aboutTim Mulcahy

September 15, 2007: 15 years ago, the day my life changed forever.

Tim and I woke up as friends, we were both off work and I was staying with him for the weekend. We had decided to go to Homosassa Springs State Park. On the drive over something felt different between us, something good was going to happen.

We listened to Shaggy and sang along to Mr. Bombastic (which became our wedding song). We had such a good time walking around, seeing the animals, the manatees, and just being together. On the drive back to his house we were stopped at a light and he leaned over and kissed me. That was when we went from being best friends to best friends, lovers, and eventually spouses.

Share Your Story