Friday, September 23, 2011


Mom passed away this afternoon around 1:30pm. Dad was on the phone with me at the time; Gary and I were at the airport, waiting to get on a flight that was delayed by an hour. Ross was with her in her room at the Kline. Gary and I were supposed to be in the air, but due to weather in New York, we were able to just turn around and head right back.

So many family and friends came to us this afternoon; the courtyard was full of our support network. The nursing staff all came in to the room as we were leaving, wanting to show their support, giving everyone hugs and crying more than us.

My overwhelming emotion today is relief. I am so glad that our flight was delayed, that Gary and I were together, that this was at the end (though now middle) of a wonderful, long visit where I had lots of quality time with my mom. I'm relieved that Mom didn't suffer for days or weeks, that her decline the last few days was so rapid that she didn't really have time to be horrendously uncomfortable. Throughout the past 9 months, still the most uncomfortable I've seen her was those first few days in December at the hospital. This morning she was lucid, in and out of sleep, but still completely aware of her surroundings and who was with her.

Mom didn't want to have to say goodbye to anyone. So we didn't. We left everything at "I love you."

Today is the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall. Traditionally, this is a day for giving thanks, finding balance and preparing to turn more inwards. It's a time when we focus on our physical bodies, nourishing them with harvest abundance, and practicing feeling rooted to the earth. It makes sense that on today of all days, Mom realized her physical self was no longer serving her needs. That her spirit was too fierce for the broken body and needed to be released.

We are also a few days short of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. There is a prayer that says that God chooses each person who will die in the year to come, on Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Another story I've told myself is that Mom was on the list to pass this year, but God gave us the entire year to spend with her.

We are still working on memorial arrangements-I will post them here on Sunday when we finalize the details. In the meantime, we have fielded many questions about making donations in Mom's honor. We are so honored to even be asked this question and of course whatever charity you'd like to support in Mom's memory is such a gift. However, if you're looking for guidance, we can suggest a few that are very close to Mom's heart:

Solomike Early Childhood Center
To donate, please mail your contribution to:
Temple B'nai Torah, Solomike ECC
15727 NE 4th Street
Bellevue WA 98008

Metropolitan Seattle Sickle Cell Task Force
To donate, please mail your contribution to:
Metropolitan Seattle Sickle Cell Task Force
P.O. Box 20194
Seattle, WA 98102

Mom's Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Group:
This is a group that meets once a month with a rotating host. The host chooses a charity that they'd like to support and presents their information to the entire group, educating them on what the charity does, how their money will help them and why they chose them. The group then makes an anonymous donation to that charity.
To donate, please mail your contribution to:
RAK c/o Eileen Putter
14011 SE 49th PL
Bellevue WA 98006


  1. We are without adequate words to express ourselves tonight. We send all of you our love and heartfelt support ... today and always.

    Michael & Sheryl
    Peoria, IL

  2. We all share in your sadness and relief. It has been such a privilege to be part of Flynnie's final journey. She embraced life's adversities and reached heights Ans depths that most will never travel. Her unwavering sprit and legacy of hope will live on forever. I hope you can draw comfort from knowing you helped to fill these past 9 months with such love, support, happiness and goodness that mDe her want to live each and every day to it's fullest. XO, Heller

  3. Our deeepest and most heartfelt condolences to you, Ross, your dad and the rest of your family.

    Katia and Bob Taylor

  4. Flynne will always be in our hearts.

    Esther and Mike Wyszogrodzki

  5. Forever RIP Flynne. I cried when your brother called me last night. You fought with remarkable vengeance and grace. Jon Heller

    יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא

  6. Suzi, Matthew and Andrew GoldenSeptember 24, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    We are so very sorry to hear about Flynne. Flynne will always be in our hearts.

  7. My heart goes out to all of you. Flynne was such a doll and I so enjoyed being a co bridesmaid with her at Karen and Marc's wedding and knowing her
    thru the years.

  8. I am sooo sorry for your loss - your mom was an awesome person, inside and out. I have been following the blog and saying prayers that she would come through this. She will never be forgotten.

  9. Thank you for sharing your family's journey with us throughout this wonderful blog. I will always miss Flynne, her wonderful grace, humor and sweetness. I think your last blog entry sums everything up beautifully. You and Ross honored your mother so well by doing this. And you were her greatest accomplishments and pride.

  10. So sorry to hear. Our condolences to all. You did a beautiful job of keeping us all aware your family's journey.

    Gerry & Sandra Ostroff

  11. We have prayed for your Mom since we found out in December we've kept her in our hearts and mind. Now in this time of sorrow we have Ross and his whole family in our hearts. Our deepest condolences to your whole family. Maria Raygoza( I am Claudia's cousin from California)

  12. Elena called me yesterday evening to let me know what had happened. I am so sorry to hear about this; Flynne was such a wonderful person, and she fought so fiercely against this terrible disease. Being down here in San Diego, I have always appreciated this blog that you have kept, as a very real and honest way to stay updated on how Flynne was doing, because I have been thinking about your family every single day since we found out about her diagnosis. I am truly amazed at how you have all managed to stay so positive during the most difficult and trying times, and that includes your post from yesterday. Flynne was very lucky to have you all at her side throughout this journey.

    I love you all very much.


  13. As so many of you have said, Flynne was a blessing in our lives, an honest, funny, insightful, caring, and honorable person, who made us all want to be better people, but who loved us for ourselves. I am grateful that her last year was one in which she had a chance to share love with so many of us. She was immensely proud of Aynsley and Ross, and deeply in love with Bob after a rich marriage of many years. She had many blessings in her life, and I hope that amidst our great sadness we can celebrate the life she lived and the way she touched so many of us, leaving us spiritually richer for having had a chance to know and love her. My deepest sympathy to her family and all her friends.

  14. I have been thinking all day of how best to convey my condolences to you and Flynne's family. I am sorry about her passing much to young. I am sad that she had this terrible disease that there is no cure for yet. I'm so very sorry that she wasn't able to meet her grandchild. I'm thankful she is no longer in any discomfort. I'm thankful that thru this blog you were able to include so many of us in your journey. I'm glad you were able to spend time with Flynne. I do know that we all live on through our children and our children's children, and she will too. God bless you and your family. Carla (Copeland) Clemmer

  15. Aynsley (and Ross), it's been so inspiring to read your and Flynne's journey. Through to the very end you handled it with such love and maturity. My heart goes out to you and your family. May your mom's memory be a blessing.

  16. I am so saddened to hear of Flynne's passing. I have so many fond memories of Flynne during the years we worked together that reflect her strength, humor, commitment to family, dedication, friendship and love. She lived with such grace and dignity, courage and realness; she's what I aspire to in my own life.
    I am grateful to Aynsley and Ross for inviting us all into your lives thru this blog at a most precious and difficult time for you - Thank you.

    My heart and prayers go out to Bob, Aynsley, and Ross as well as all who hold Flynne dear. Peace.

  17. Your mother was a wonderful, beautiful person. We will cherish her memory.

    Robin and Steve Boehler

  18. I am so very sorry.
    Your family strength and spirit is amazing. I wish peace to you all.
    Cami Lines Carris

  19. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Your mother's spirit and your family's love will live on. We wish you peace.
    Wendy and Barry Dore