My cousin Sandi emailed me last week to share some news with me. Here is the email:
I immediately forwarded the email to my sister and father and replied to Sandi. An hour later she replied back to me:
I wanted to let you know- and to pass on as needed about one of our cousins... Paul Mommaerts (I think he's about 47 years old now,) who is Ken's son (he wasn't at the reunion...) Kelly, Mary and Tim/Ford's brother. I haven't seen him since I was about... Maybe 7 years old?? Anyway, he has suffered from some kind of mental illness over the years and has distanced himself completely from our/his family. Kelly called me about 2 weeks ago, and told me she was going to try to find him again - which she does every so often. Well, I hadn't talked to her at all until this morning when she called me... Over the weekend, she was looking for her Brother Tim's phone number for something else, when she stumbled across some old work numbers of Paul's, an IHOP Restaurant in the Detroit area... Out of the blue, yesterday, she called the IHOP. She introduced herself and was immediately handed over to a manager who said "Thank goodness you called; we've been trying to locate family for Paul...” Yesterday (Saturday, I think) he suffered an ischemic (massive) stroke; he is currently on life support with very little brain function and last I heard from Kelly, is not expected to live. Kelly was in shock at the situation and of course of the timing. She was leaving today to go to Detroit to try to see him and find out more about what is going on.
My dad wrote back and told me that, in fact, he had heard from his brother Mike earlier that same day. Anyway, even though we weren’t close to him – he is part of our family. I ask that you please pray for my uncle Ken and the rest of our family that are dealing with his death. And thanks to Sandi for letting us all know what going on. We miss you guys up in Wisconsin!
Well, since I sent this to you, Kelly called me and let me know that Paul died at 7:09pm tonight. They kept him on life support until she got there. No one else in the family is going up there. Kelly will handle the arrangements (Strange family, no comment... whatever.) Anyway, she said that she is trying to arrange a memorial service for his co-workers who have been so wonderful in the past few days (the coworkers at the restaurant are paying for Kelly's hotel room for 4 days) and there will apparently be a memorial service later. Weird thing, apparently before he died, phone calls were going around saying he died... I would imagine your parents might even already know. *sigh* I don't know much else, except that it is probably a very sad story overall. Kelly said he had been homeless at times... I am just so thankful that God had Kelly call and was able to be with him when he died so he could be with his family. Isn't that just amazing??
Apparently he has an ex-wife and a daughter. Lisa, my step mom, who is a private investigator is going to try to find her, however, I think it will be difficult. Her name is "Kara Smith, married to a John Smith" and no one knows where she is…