Stories: Who We Have Lost
Who did you lose to Covid 19? Dina Kogan (1 of 3)
After our sister Dina caught Covid and went into the hospital, we received one last message from her before she was put on a ventilator. “I like being alive,” she texted, and we never spoke with her again. One of the many horrible cruelties of Covid is that we are all denied the ability to say goodbye to our loved ones. The things we would like to say at the end go unsaid. We don’t hold their hand, or stroke their foreheads. We were lucky enough to get to see our beloved sister through the glass door to her ICU room the day she passed away.
Dina was everything to us, a funny, unique, kind person, who as her final message made abundantly clear, she did “like being alive.” Everything she did throughout her busy days back up this statement.
We were truly blessed to have Dina as long as we did. Even though our sister’s work here on Earth was done, it doesn’t seem to be fair. Her 53 years of life was cut short, even if it was lived fully. She suffered with asthma, COPD and chronic bronchitis. But she never let it get her down. Even when she had difficulty with breathing, she was full of life. Dina was a big part of our day to day always. Being 17 years older than Dawn and 11 years older than Denise, she was our big sis, and always took care of us. Even long before both of our parents passed away, it was always the 3 of us. She was like our 2nd mother. She was the same with all of our children as well.
Dina’s niece’s nephew’s in age order, Joseph, Stephen, Teagan, Jeremy and Avery, all could depend on Dina for anything. Whether it was to talk to them about the Lord, knit them hats or stuffed animals, to make them food, walk them to the bus stop, or even scrounge up some money from the bottom of her change purse to buy them something they so desperately seemed to need, just to name a few. Dina was constantly knitting and crocheting. Other than God and her family, this was her passion. She made a YouTube channel named, “Dina’s Yoyos”. She acquired 500 followers in no time. She loved chatting and showing off her creations as well as doing tutorials on how to knit and the different kinds of yarn she recently picked up from walmart or what a friend may have mailed to her, which she called “happy mail”. She had such a fun time unboxing all different yarns for her followers to see.
We all moved to Florida together in 2018 from Rockville Centre New York where we were all born and raised. We had three brothers as well from our dad’s previous two marriages that we became close with and enjoyed time with. Their names are Alan, Paul and Barry. It was a big culture shock for us moving. Dina had a great heart and always did for everybody. She may not have had much, but always made do with what she had. Her YouTube channel produced many friends and Dina also like to call them her family as well. She participated in many others YouTube channels as a guest also. Dina never learned to drive so she was stuck inside a lot here in the country of Florida at our home. There is no public transportation, no busses or trains for her to get about. Dina would take to walking around our 12-acre property. She would videotape all the farm animals and birds that she would come across. She liked to “moo” at the cows and “hee haw” at the donkey. Dina was a child at heart. This is also how she met some neighbors and church goers in the area as well. Dina used to knit preemie hats and blankets for local hospitals, collect socks for the wounded warriors project, always gave money to feed the children as well as just giving random people things she made such as her lollipop angels, shawls, or crochet towels and trivets. And the stuffed animals Dina would make … the kids just love them! When Teagan was a little girl, she had made her a dress out of a pillowcase. It was definitely one of a kind and gorgeous!
Living on 12 acres, you could imagine that we had lots of pets. Dina gave a bunch of nicknames to all of our animals. To name a few … Sweetie our chiweenie she called “Sweetie Petee,” Bella our beagle she called “Bella Wella” ( this was Dina’s favorite pet and her copilot on Dina’s Yoyo’s). She called our pit bull Red, “Redy Red Red,” and last but not least, our chihuahua Precious, she calls “The Raccoon” because of her Gray markings. Dina always used to take Dawn to Girl Scouts as a child and bring her favorite red construction paper to draw on. Dina loves Snoopy, he was her favorite. She also loved Gremlins. She really loved anything by Stephen King, especially his books. She loved to cook and make meatloaf, or her famous potatoes as well as our grandma’s macaroni salad and potato salad. She always made pizza on English muffins and her famous ramen noodle soup with cheese and hot dogs mixed in.