Monday, January 5, 2009

A Post from Rachel & Carla

Hello, this post is from Rachel & Carla, Ceil’s daughters. We’re sorry to have to tell the readers of this blog that our mom passed away at the end of January 3rd.

As she mentioned in her last post, Ceil was able to spend the holiday season with family and friends, and although her energy and appetite were waning, she thoroughly enjoyed visiting and being visited by loved ones. On New Year’s Eve we noticed that her energy and mobility were severely decreased. On New Year’s day she received visits and phone calls from friends and family, but didn’t have the energy to leave her bed. It became apparent that she was very dehydrated. We kept her as hydrated as possible, and on Friday we brought her in to see her doctors, who recommended that she be admitted to the hospital for more comprehensive rehydration and observation.

Our hope and expectation was that they would rehydrate her, perhaps give her a blood transfusion, and she would regain her energy and vitality and then return home to resume her fight against the disease. But on Saturday, despite excellent and thorough treatment, it was clear that something was not right. The doctors at NYU Hospital quickly took her to the ICU and determined that the melanoma had aggressively spread. It was very sudden and unexpected, and her liver had failed. The doctors were very patient and helpful, but they made it clear that the melanoma had won.

We had seen what the disease was doing to her, especially in the past couple months, but I think we all really believed, as many of you did, that she could beat this thing through sheer force of will. It was an extremely difficult day, but she was comfortable and surrounded by loved ones.

We know that this blog was very important to her, as a way to make sense of her struggle against this illness, as a way for her to communicate with people and as a way for her to practice her love of writing. We have attempted to contact people we know, but she also touched many people through this blog that we would not know how to reach otherwise.

We will be holding a visitation/memorial service for Ceil on Thursday, January 8th from 3-7pm at the Hawthorne Funeral Home. We welcome all of her friends to join us. See the site for directions and details.

In lieu of sending flowers, please consider making a small donation to the NYU Cancer Center in Ceil's name. They were so incredibly wonderful and supportive of our mom, throughout the time she was fighting this disease, and they continue to do very important research. (NYU Melanoma Research Fund, NYU Clinical Cancer Center, 9th Floor, 160 East 34th Street, NY, NY 10016. Attention: Dr. Pavlick, In memory of Celia Silver Rosenfeld)

Please feel free to leave comments here for Ceil, her friends and her family. We would like to print these comments out and have them available at her memorial service. Let us know if you would prefer not to have your comments included in this event. If you would rather send a private message to the family, or have questions about her or this blog, we will continue to receive email at Ceil’s email address (ceil[at]ceilsilver[dot]com) or you can use Rachel’s email address (mirka23[at]gmail[dot]com).

Thank you all, our mom was very special to us, and I know she was very special to so many people.

22 comments:

Toni M. Feltman said...

I don't know what to say, I am so surprised by this turn of events. At the same time I am relieved that Ceil passed quickly and without months of pain while waiting. We will miss her terribly.

Know that I would be there for the service if I were not on the other side of the world right now. I will be there in mind and spirit. Godspeed.

Doug Hennig said...

I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's death. Although I never met Rachel, I did meet Carla in 1995. Ceil talked about both of you all the time and was obviously very proud of you. Her passing is a blow to the many people who loved her. I am a much richer person for having known her and will miss her very much.

Craig Berntson said...

I was shocked to hear the news of your mom's passing. She gave her time and knowledge to others and was an incredible example of the giving to others that the FoxPro community is known for. We will all miss her.

Cathy Pountney said...

Ceil was such a good person. She was kind and caring and gave so much to the Fox Community. I always enjoyed spending time with her at Fox events. She and I exchanged many emails over the last several months and had some pretty philosophic conversations. I will truly treasure these! Ceil was truly a great person and she will be missed.

Dale Zimmer said...

I am saddened to hear about the loss of your mom. I met her many times at various foxpro conferences.

Ceil was always interested in what or how I was doing. She was an extremely nice person to talk to.

I followed her blog very frequently, and was always curious how she was doing. I will miss seeing her at various conferences and online forums. I had the honor and pleasure to know your mom.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Joe Silver said...

Hello, all. I'm Ceil's brother. I want readers of this blog to know that your kind comments, rememberances, and expressions of sympathy are very welcome at this difficult time. It is obvious that Ceil touched a lot of lives, and that she will be greatly missed.

It's unfair that anyone should be taken by illness at such a young age. Like many of you, I was won over by Ceil's optimism, and was convinced until very recently that she would beat her illness and live for many more years. Ultimately, it simply became too much to deal with. I'm grateful that her suffering didn't go on longer than it did.

Thank you to all readers and friends for your support.

Steve Bodnar said...

I was just sharing this sad news with a friend who hadn't talked to Ceil in a while and he mentioned that he didn't even know Ceil was sick. I mentioned to him that I saw her in Phoenix and would not have known she were sick if she hadn't made the strange comment that she and I must share the same barber. I didn't realize she was wearing a wig and had no idea that under it she shared my clean-shaven look. Actually, that comment alone just struck me as odd - she looked and acted just like the Ceil I'd always known. If it weren't for a second comment about her blog, I would have remained clueless. Only after a couple days of seeing her and hearing an occaisional comment about "being tired" or something similar did I finally put things together. As soon as I found the URL for this blog I read it straight through. Ceil's writing has given me insight and ispiration beyond comparison. Through it I've grown to care for her a great deal.

I've always enjoyed spending time with Ceil and have really appreciated the effort she's put into sharing these difficult times with her friends all over the world.

Rachel and Carla, I'm sure you have a good sense of how much your mom meant to all of us. I genuinely feel blessed to have known her and I will miss her a great deal.

Ed Leafe said...

Like many of you, I was surprised by the news of Ceil's death. Several weeks ago I thought about her, and on a lark gave her a call. She didn't believe it was me at first; I asked her why. She said she had had a dream the night before, and I was in it! She quickly added "and no, it wasn't *that* kind of dream!" The details of the dream were not important; it was the timing of the call that surprised her, as we hadn't talked in over a year. We gabbed for quite a while, catching up on each others' lives, and I got the impression from her that she had faced the worst of the disease and made it through. Her positive attitude toward her fight with the cancer was very convincing; so much so that I'm really stunned today to learn that the cancer won after all.

Life can be so fleeting, and at times like this I try to focus on how much better my life has been knowing Ceil instead of how much I'll miss having her around. She was great to work with, and fun to hang out with. Ceil was a truly warm and caring person, and I'm fortuante to have known her.

Barbara Peisch said...

I was surprised to hear how suddenly Ceil slipped away. We've all lost someone very precious when we lost Ceil.

I always admired Ceil's blog. She was so articulate and in touch with her feelings. I hope the blog is left as her legacy to give hope and encouragement to others fighting the same battle.

And Rachel and Carla, she was especially proud of both of you. I hope you always remember that.

SeattleSusieQ said...

It's hard for me to figure out what to say right now. I knew this was coming but I was stunned just the same when Rachel called.

Ceil was a very good person who raised 2 wonderful daughters (whom she bragged about all the time - you girls should know that!). As it is suggested in "It's a Wonderful Life", your success is measured by the friends you have. By that measure, Ceil was a millionaire.

Ceil had an amazing knowledge of all kinds of music and I learned about a lot of wonderful singers and songwriters thanks to her.

I tried to get together with Ceil every time I went to NY, but when I was there this past July, she wasn't well enough to make the trip to Manhattan. But we did have dinner together during my previous trip and I'll always treasure the memory of that visit, as well as so many others. We laughed alot together and we shared a lot.

We were good friends and I shall miss her very much.

I would dearly like to attend the service but that will not be possible. Know that I will be there in spirit, giving you all the virtual hugs I have to offer in this time of sorrow.

Peace.

babette said...

Rachel, and Carla who I knew as Rachel's little sister, knowing full well you're grown up -
I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am. I have not been in touch all these years, but I remember your mom well. And I'm sad to hear of her passing. I will take the time to look at her blog.
-Babette

Anonymous said...

Rachel, I am so sorry about your mom. When I read about it, I immediately realized that Ceil was the first "grownup" that had ever treated me like an adult. The first time I met her, she made us a delicious meal, chatted with us and she offered me a glass of wine. I thought she was joking! I was both flattered and embarrassed thinking she would soon find me out to be a silly kid. The next time I went to your house, she had framed a drawing I had done of you. Not even my own parents had treated my art as anything more than a hobby. She treated me as if I was already what I wanted to be when I grew up: an artist, a woman with ideas that someone would be interested in listening to.
Ceil raised two talented, smart, adventurous, curious, funny and gutsy women. Reading her blog, it's obvious that the apple didnt fall far from the tree. I'll be thinking of Ceil, Carla and you on Thursday though I'd rather be there in person. Lots of love, Cathy Sanchez

Anonymous said...

I am a fellow cancer veteran, and I help many others as they take this journey.

Honesty in the face of Big Medical Trouble is the quality that I admire most. Ceil was truthful, and she was brave.

Ceil was also proof of the fact that, not only do we not have to lose our sense of humor when we get cancer ... but it is the lifeboat that brings us safely to shore.

Farewell Ceil. You travelled your hero's journey, and you did it with grace.

Laurie Todd
Seattle

Alex Feldstein said...

So sorry to hear the sad news. I have known Ceil for years and have chatted with her at every FoxPro convention. I remember giving Ceil, Marcia, and Barbara a tour of Miami Beach during the time of the Miami Foxpro Conference.

Ceil was such a good person, kind and lovable. We'll miss her.

Dianne said...

I am Ceil’s Aunt and have been following this blog since it’s beginning and I am so sad that it had to end this way… I also regret to say that, due to illness, we will not be at the memorial service on Thursday.

My fondest memories of Ceil go way back to when she and her sister would visit their grandparents’ farm and I, not much more than a child myself, would be the “designated caregiver” with a bit of adult supervision of course……then there were my visits to “the city” to help their Mom (my sister) with their care all of which helped keep us connected during these early years.

We pretty much drifted apart during our adult years and saw each other infrequently at family functions such as weddings, reunions, etc. We will look forward to the special remembrance of her at our family reunion in August if that all works out!

I will always remember Ceil as one of the three curly haired girls roaming the hay fields and tending the livestock on her grandparents’ farm!

Jim Booth said...

I had the opportunity to work with Ceil closley on a number of occasions. She was always a professional and a joy to have on the teams. I knew her as a friend also and she was a very loyal and supportive friend who always had words of encouragement when one was feeling down. We will all be a liitle bit less blessed without her being with us. She will be dearly missed.

Dan Griffin said...

Rachel & Carla and the many friends and family of Ceil,

I was blessed to have a wonderful conversation with Ceil in November. We talked about our respective health problems but also about great music - Ceil and I had the same taste in music and movies. I have to tell you a wonderful story about Ceil being my guest for the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. I certainly remember the closing film - a documentary about Al Franken! I had no idea Ceil was not as left leaning as I and she was too polite to tell me. We were on the 2nd row center as I wanted to be up front for the Q & A. Little did I know Ceil really did not like Al and when I put my camera in her hand and asked her to snap a picture of the comedian/senator and me! I will never be able to hear the name "Al Franken" without thinking of the look on Ceil's face! This is a good thing.

God bless,


Dan Griffin

Dianne said...

Rachel & Carla,

Just a personal add-on to my post yesterday....even though we haven't kept up with your maturing years, wanted you to know we are interested in your lives, especially so at this difficult time. Your Mom's spirit will live on through you both!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Always, Dianne

mj said...

Carla and Rachel,

Your mom was such an interesting woman! I regret that I didn't get to know her better. We had spoken about actually going to Italy together; I wish I had made it happen, I know I would have enjoyed seeing a bit of Europe through Ceil's eyes.

I must agree with the post by Barbara -- she was so proud of both her daughters --

So very sorry for your loss girls.

-Mary Goldstein (Jenny's mom)

Julie Lerman said...

I'm still digesting this. Here is part of a blog post I wrote today.

Ceil leaves so many wonderful legacies, and I thank her for all I have learned from her and been able to carry on while working in the .NET community.

But what she was, is and will always be most proud of are her daughters, Carla and Rachel.

I'm going to miss her so much.

Love, Julie

SeattleSusieQ said...

Adding something here that I just got from a friend. I thought it was beautiful and appropriate:

Death leaves a heartache nothing can heal. Love leaves a memory, noone can steal.

netwrk219 said...

Rachel and Carla,

I am saddened to hear of your loss. I never met your mom, but I know Rachel real well and know that much of what I enjoy from Rachel could only have come from her relationship to her mom. She was obviously a very special person who touched many, either directly or indirectly. My thoughts are with you, call when you can. Jennifer and I are here.