Sylvia Woodman's mother
10:13pm January 11, 2012

Dear Sandra,

As I am chronicling on my FB page, my Mother is dying. It happened suddenly. She was fine, active, living independently, involved in the lives of her two Grandchildren and that of her relatives and friends (one of whom she has known since she was 5 years old) and then she wasn't fine. We had a brief reprieve just over a week and then it was back to the hospital. She is on a ventilator she has a living will and I'm the one designated to make the decisions. I am struck by how much that I have learned from you about parenting, living peacefully, mindfully, and making choices is helping me with these end of life decisions. What are my choices? Are there more/better options? Keep breathing, take a breath before speaking (especially to the doctors) Will each choice lead to more comfort, more peace for my Mom? What would be the kindest thing I could do/provide for her?

Also there are things I long to do with her that I may not have the chance to do with her again. Many of those things are things I can do with Gabriella and Harry and Jim. I can cook their favorite foods, read to them, watch TV or movies with them. Snuggle with them. Buy them ice cream.

Tomorrow I'll be back at the hospital I'll be bringing a cd player and some of her favorite music, some nice smelling lotion and maybe some hard candy that I can dissolve in water to help swab her lips. Also the kids figured out how to make videos on my phone so I can play those for her too, since kids aren't allowed in the ICU.

Rather than worry that I'm not doing enough for my family, I'm doing what it takes for me not to wonder about that. Working to improve children's lives seems to ripple across generations. I thought you should know this.

Warmly,

Sylvia

Sylvia wrote on January 14, 2012:
I am sad to announce that my Mother, Joan Polk passed away this morning at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. There will be a funeral service at 11:45AM at Mount Sinai Memorial Chapel in East Brunswick, NJ, on Monday, January 16. Burial immediately following at Floral Park Cemetery. Alex and I will then be sitting shiva at my house through Wednesday night.

Five words Six muffins