A Tragic Loss : And A Sad And Reflective Walk At The PPL Wetlands

A Tragic Loss : And A Sad And Reflective Walk At The PPL Wetlands

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I am sorry for not uploading  any new blog posts these past two weeks but the tragic loss of my beloved sister Linda and her husband Charles in an automobile accident, has, quite honestly, shattered my world and normal routine.  And even more so for  the four wonderful children, Charles, Brandon, Kelly and Cassidy, they left as their legacy. Charlie and Linda DeCosmo at Skyline Driver Virginia

Both of them loved life to the fullest. Linda loved to travel, read, garden, listen to music and her yoga.Brandon, Kelly, Linda Cassidy and Charlie DeCosmo

Charles loved golf, sports, his garden, the beach and sun and his passion for coaching basketball. Charles Decosmo Sr, Ethan and Kelly (DeCosmo) Eichhorst Charlie Decosmo Jr. Cassidy Decosmo Linda Decosmo

And both loved their children above all else. There is so much more to tell of this lovely couple, now together forever, and I hope to continue to tell it here in my blog in the ensuing weeks, months and years, should I be allowed to possess that precious gift of life. And precious it is, as their children, and my family try to cope with the loss of these two wonderful human beings. Linda and Charlies DeCosmo

I did a lot of walking alone, without my camera,  after the tragedy doing much reflection on the loss.  Finally, last Saturday I felt it was time to do what I love most, hike with my camera in the woodlands of Pennsylvania and share what I find. I know Linda and Charlie would want me to continue this passion.  And, of course, I decided to head to the PPL Wetlands. Trees along Susquehanna River

It was a mostly  cloudy  and cool morning at the wetlands. As soon as I left my car I heard the  song of a bird I hadn’t heard before. It was coming from deep in the wetlands and I decided to venture in to try and identify it.I crawled through some thick brush which immediately reminded of the thick underbrush my sister Linda and I struggled through to observe mountain gorillas in Rwanda a year ago.

I reflected, tearfully, on the trip, as I listened in the brush to the song of the unidentified bird. As I thought of  life and loss this frog jumped up  on a wild grape leaf right in front of me. spring peeper on wild grape leaf

It is a spring peeper which are usually active in the Spring and are seldom seen. The ones I have seen in the spring were much smaller than this one. Seeing this frog climb out in front of me,in the Fall, was so unusual and  I immediately felt this is where I should be and what I should be doing. spring peeper on wild grape leaf

I was blessed to have traveled on four of the continents with Linda and know she wants me to continue to share photographs of my travels and walks in nature. I continued my hike recalling many memories of my sister as I walked under the towering trees of the wetlands. tree lined path at PPL Wetlands

The paths were now  covered with the falling leaves and 

There were  a few flowers still blooming along the trails.

Most of the song birds are gone but there were a few lingering robins

and wood ducks on the trails of the wetlands.

I walked through the wetlands and into the riverlands section of the park and again reflected on my travels with my sister when I spotted this great blue heron along Lake Took-A-While. great blue heron

As I approached the bird stood still until I got close enough to capture a series of photographs of it finally deciding I was getting to close and flew on to more peaceful fishing grounds. great blue heron in flight

Here is a link to some more photographs of the blue heron in flight. Great blue heron, PPL Wetlands. great blue heron in flight

My encounter with this beautiful bird reminded me of my sister’s love of life and nature and the experience we shared enjoying both in Africa.

I slowly began my walk back to the wetlands enjoying the many colors that were now appearing in the trees along the wetlands. 

I saw a few turtles catching the October sun that now peeked out of the clouds. 

It was a heartbreaking week for my entire family, especially my nieces and nephews. I will admit I still am having a hard dealing with the loss of these two souls that so enjoyed the life they were given. But my walks in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania give me some comfort and I know Linda and Charlie want all of us to continue to live and love life and enjoy the passions that all of us possess. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike at the wetlands. PPL Wetlands October 7 2017.


“There is nothing more painful than the untimely death of someone young and dear to the heart. The harrowing grief surges from a bottomless well of sorrow, drowning the mourner in a torrent of agonizing pain; an exquisite pain that continues to afflict the mourner with heartache and loneliness long after the deceased is buried and gone.” 
― Jocelyn Murray


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  1. Joan Lockwood Smith on October 16, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt & beautiful tribute to your beloved sister & brother-in-law,Frank.I’m not sure if you’re a better writer or photographer,but you’re certainly great at both.

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on October 16, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks for you kind words Joan. They do help in these difficult times.

  2. Katie Wilson on October 16, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Frank you are wonderful

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on October 17, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks Katie

  3. Fran Metz on October 16, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    So sorry Frank. So sad. Linda and Charlie left this world too too early. Such a fun, loving couple with 4 great kids!Prayers to all of you each and every day. Kelly’s hashtag says it all- #lifewillneverbethesame. Wish it wasn’t so.

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on October 17, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks Fran. Yes they did. I still cant believe it is real No it won’t but we must live on Thanks again.

  4. Karen A Kennedy on October 17, 2017 at 1:05 am

    How beautiful, it must be hard to write these blogs right now. Sending prayers and love to you & your family

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on October 17, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks Karen, it is, our family is devastated but we must live on and I get great comfort sharing the beauty of nature. Thanks again for you king words.

  5. Monica M. Bazewicz on October 17, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Dear Frank:
    Please accept our deepest sympathy on your great loss. You can be happy that you spent a lot of time with your sister in
    such a short time. You will always carry those memories with
    you. My God grant them peace and help to heal the family.
    Monica & Stan Bazewicz

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on October 17, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Thank you so much for you kind words Monics

  6. mike korb on October 17, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    so sorry for your loss. I enjoy your blog and share it often.

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on October 17, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks Mike It has devastated our family. And thanks for your support of my blog. I enjoy sharing my love of nature.

  7. Chrissy Mendofik on October 17, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    That was a beautiful tribute to your sister and brother in law. I know all too well how one day they are here and suddenly THAT CALL comes… Your brain is unsure what to do next until you feel your heart shatter in a million pieces. I wish so very much I could take your pain away from you and your family. I wish so much I had the ability to go back in time and change the course of events. I myself find great solace in the woods. Its calm and serenity brings me great peace and clarity. I know how your faith and your love will help see you all through this, yet there will always be the unanswerable question.. WHY??? Please know Frank I am here for you and your family with much friendship and great love. Love You Always.. Chrissy

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on October 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words Chrissy. They provide some comfort in these painful times.

  8. Suzanne Wolk on October 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Beautifully written tribute… God be with you all. I pray for your peace of mind and the strength to endure as your hearts slowly begin to heal…

    • fskokoski@gmail.com on December 6, 2017 at 6:00 am

      Thanks Suzanne appreciate your kind words and support.