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The Long Goodbye

August 18, 1991

Over the past two years, my father, Joseph Kaye, has fought to get better. He fought his way out of a coma, out of a vegetative state, into awareness and finally back to being Dad.

I can attest to the fact that his will, which was always ironclad, was not damaged. Having spent hours nearly every day with this extraordinary man since his first stroke in October of 1987 and even more hours since his second stroke in June of 1989, let me offer this observation:

Our family suffered a crisis on June 11, 1989. I'm not sure when the crisis abated and restoration of my father's life began, but the crisis has long since ended.

Unable to cope with the reality of this new man, my sister Janet Kaye has chosen to keep him in a crisis situation. Her approach to his existence is negative. She has nothing to compare his current achievements with and therefore can't see them.

Early this summer, when we were going outside, he pointed to his hat, because I'd forgotten it, and it was an unusually sunny May day.

A few days before that, as Mom was going out, he pointed to the corner of the room where she'd forgotten her pocketbook. He is still most protective of her.

Janet's article was about her ability to accept loss and change. Her observations of him are not based on his day-to-day life, but on her hurt and denial, leading to a preconceived determination that her father's life is over.

I hope that anyone who has known, now knows or will someday know Joseph Mitchell Kaye is in no way tainted by Janet's very public expression.


Riverside, Conn.

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