Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Death of my Uncle Gonny (John Ourednik

I could never say Johnny so it always came out Gonnie.  Here I am with my godparents, Johnny and Patsy Ourednik, 1995.

When I was born, we lived in a 3 story home.  Patsy with her parents on the first floor, my mom's parents and Carol on the 2nd and my parents and me on the third.  This is where my father died when I was 4 months old.  Immediately Johnny and Patsy were willing to step up and add the care I needed.  I am told that I could not say Johnny.  Instead it came out Gonny...hard G sound.  I would stand at the top of our stairs and yell down Gonny!  and he'd come arunnin'.  He was always there for me.  Many time he would be the standin for the daddy at daddy/daughter events.

Robert and I had run out to grab a few things and when I came home I had 3 messages and the end result was that Uncle Johnny had died.  We raced in to be with Patsy.  It's not like we thought he would live forever but it's still always a stunning moment when someone leaves mortality.

Johnny had a day of delirium Monday but Tuesday he awoke fine.  He's been pretty much confined to a wheelchair, but up until most recently continued to drive (that scared me to death).  His legs were pretty weak but his sense of humor was always in tact.  Most recently, despite being limited in what he could do, he told Patsy he didn't want to die yet, that he actually enjoyed his life.

He got out of bed, had breakfast and then had to go to the bathroom. That created a problem but Patsy got him all cleaned up and was trying to get him back to bed, telling him that he'd better not fall because she wouldn't be able to get him up.  And he fell right next to the bed!  Patsy ran to the hallway and called for anyone in the apartment house to come.  One man heard and came running. They couldn't get him up but made him comfortable on the floor til the ambulance arrived (6 men...cops, fire dept, and EMTs).  They put him on O2 and put him into the ambulance.  On the way to Euclid Hospital his heart stopped and he was bagged as they did CPR. When they got to the hospital, still doing CPR, they asked Patsy what she wanted them to do.  She looked at Johnny and said, "let him go...he's lived a good life."  And thus passed my wonderful godfather into the next world.

It's going to be difficult for Patsy and I wonder how long she will last.  The funeral will be on Monday.  I spent Wednesday again with Patsy, making the funeral arrangements with the cemetery and funeral home...thankfully they had everything all paid up and cemented.  Patsy has some good friends in the apartment complex as well as in the neighborhood.  They can get to her the fastest!  at least faster than I can.

Jocelyn posted the above picture. In it you can see most all the important people in my life. Sitting up tall on the left is my beloved Poppy. Patsy and Johnny (my godparents) in front of Poppy. Behind Poppy is Uncle Gus.  Across from him is his wife, my great Aunt Florrie (Floriday).  All that hair on the girl at the end of the table is the aunt I grew up with more as a sister, carol. The man on the right is my father, Henry Czekala, with my mom at his side.

One week ago Johnny enjoyed meeting Simon. Today Johnny was greeted at heavens door by his son, Jeffrey. What a reunion that was ! But how I shall miss the best godfather ever!!!!

Here are some comments and pictures my kids posted on FB concerning him:

 That's me (Susan) on Uncle Gonnie's head.

From Marissa:
My mom's godfather, known affectionately as Uncle Johnny, died today at age 94. You haven't lived until you've met someone like him. He 
was always, always joking, caring, silly. After hearing some stories about Uncle Johhny, Henry busted a few "songs" on the harmonica in Johnny's honor. "This one's for you, uncle Johnny!", he'd proclaim as he struck a few wild chords and in that moment, I felt Johnny's joy and I felt the way he'd fill a room. I felt him fill our room. See you on the flip side, uncle Johnny.

From Jocelyn:

Just learned that my Uncle Johnny passed away this morning. Kind, generous, a friend to all, a beloved protector of children, always telling jokes, and serving the humble, the disabled, and the fatherless. He was a true angel walking the earth. A true hero. He and his wife Patsy have changed our family forever for the better. He will be sorely missed but a great party is probably just kicking off on the other side. We love you, Uncle Johnny. I'd say R.I.P. but you weren't one to ever rest, so have fun, until we meet again! (To my family check your inbox for a Johhny-esque joke!)

From Dawn:
Today, my mother's god father passed away...to be reunited with his son who had died 20 years earlier. This man was a quick with a joke and a smile and a few quarters to press into grubby little hands of my kids when they were younger. My mom's dad died before her first Christmas...and we love to hear the story how Uncle Johnny took her to every Santa in Cleveland by way of the streetcar. And when she needed a diaper change, or a bottle he simply handed the baby to one of the ladies restroom attendants and waited out side. When the diapering was done, the woman would hand her back out to Johnny.

Before I totally close out this post, I have to comment about how quick of wit Johnny was...how great and silly his jokes were and how he usually saved the slightly off colored ones for me. Probably because I'd giggle. They weren't dirty jokes...just well, colored.  Jocelyn found this joke on the day Johnny died and send it to all of to remember him by.  Robert and I really laughed, as did Patsy when I read it to her.

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates. 

'In honor of this holy season' Saint Peter said, 'You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.'

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. 'It represents a candle', he said. 'You may pass through the pearly gates' Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, 'They're bells.' Saint Peter said 'You may pass through the pearly gates'.

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, 'And just what do those symbolize?'

The man replied, 'These are Carols.'

A picture from 1969 with Johnny entering 5806 Belmere Dr, Parma

Same holiday...Jeffrey and Patsy..Christmas 1969.

 This picture was taken by Jocelyn a few years ago.  Me and my Uncle Gonny.

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