Joe Crawford's personal website.

Phyllis Crawford, Roanoke, Virginia

Update, October 27, 2010

In the early morning, October 27, 2010, Phyllis Crawford died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family. Details about services will be posted at a later date. She died as she lived, defying and exceeding expectations. We pray we can honor her memory, and we thank everyone for the outpouring of love, support, prayers and sympathy.

I encourage you to read her and see her singing Karaoke from this past Summer, or hear her from the eve of her wedding in 1968, I also strongly encourage you to read Phyllis Silva Crawford’s Life Lessons.

Originally this post was entitled “Phyllis Crawford Update, October 15, 2010”

October 15, 2010

This morning at 2am my mother was awakened and had severe headache. We called paramedics and got her to the hospital after she became unresponsive and now she’s in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit here in Roanoke. She has a severe bleed, a bleed so bad that it’s basically inoperable, that has caused her to be unresponsive and the doctors suspect there is not much time left.

She has had tremendous quality of life the past 3 1/2 years, and battled like a champ, but things seem grim.

Prayers welcome.

twenty-one comments so far...

Thanks MAS. We got her off the ventilator, into the Palliative Care Unit, and finally home with a hospital bed all today. It’s been a hard but great day.

Oh Joe, my prayers are with you and Leah both… and your entire family. I know how hard this is and that nothing I can say will offer any comfort. You are not alone. many many hugs to you all.

Thank you all for your comments.

Update: Mom hanging in there, she’s as comfortable as she could possibly be given her condition. Having her home is wonderful, though hard. I can’t say enough nice things about Carilion Hospice, Roanoke Memorial Palliative Care Unit, 8 Mountain ICU at Roanoke Memorial. She has gotten many visitors from friends and family, and if you know of any friends who are unaware of her condition please do share this information with them. Please let me know if you have any questions.

It’s Wednesday 8:30am Eastern. Mom has shown incredible strength but no consciousness. She is breathing more slowly, but is not in any pain or distress. We think we’re doing everything we can. I like to think that she is aware that there’s a beautiful misty Virginia morning outside the large living room windows. Yesterday we had even more visitors come and say how wonderful she is. We played home movies and are trying to keep track of how beautiful she is.

We’ve been sending many thoughts and prayers your way, Joe.
My mom’s doctor had told me once that often with patients in these situations the last thing to go is the hearing. So even when they don’t seem to be awake they may still know you’re there, and that comfort may well go beyond anything else they feel at the time. No matter what their perceived mental state or awareness, they may know that they’re not going through this on their own.
Also I remember when I was little and got hurt or upset, my mom would just sit with me and hum softly. To this day I can still feel that comfort. That alone can do much for the soul.
When Sharon’s condition was worsening, Diana and I had planned it out that, when the time came, during Sharon’s last hours we would hold her hand, tell her that we all loved her and that she’d done a great job, she’d fought hard, but now (for her sake, even though we weren’t ok) that it was ok if she had to let go and rest now, and that it wasn’t a goodbye, it was “we will see you later.” (Regrettably, though, we didn’t see the signs soon enough on what was to be her last day.)
I know you’re doing all you can. Remember to go light on yourself. You have a good heart.
When I’m nearing my time, I would want to know I had made a difference in someone’s life. I would want to know I’d be leaving good memories.
It’s reassuring that you’re there to remind her that she’ll always be loved, and your family will not forget her meaningful and eventful life and what she’ll always mean to you.
May you all find comfort in your happy memories together.

Mom hanging in there this morning. She had ten of her tennis buddies over this morning! We’re so thankful for all the kindnesses shown us, and to know of the impact Phyllis has had on so many.

We’re doing all we can to keep her comfortable. We’ll be trying to spread her light through the world.

What a lovely comment, Chris. So true!

Thanks for all the updates, Joe. Thank you for sharing your Mom with us.


Awww… I was just thinking about you & wondering what was happening. Even before I checked the computer I had a feeling this would be the news. I’m so very sorry. Even when you know it’s coming, it still hurts.

Sending lots of love to you all, especially Phyllis. Thank you again, Joe, for sharing her with us.



Very sorry to hear about your loss. I have nothing but respect for someone who fights as long and hard against cancer is she did, and wish I could have met her in person.

Susan, I’m glad it’s been positive. I’ve felt ambivalent about personal publishing for about a year, and my Mom’s sudden decline and death have provided me with an opportunity to revisit two things I am good at: healthcare and personal web publishing. It’s quite a surprise. I know I got a great deal from you as you wrote and published about your Mom.

And Chuck, indeed. She fought like a champ. But like the fictional wise man said, “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you.”

Dear, Dear, Joe.

I’m so sorry it’s so hard. The only time I met your mother was when she said “hi” as you were trying to help me set up a web-site. What a wonderful spirit. I’m so happy that you and Leah were there during this time. Who knew when you packed up to tour the country that you were really coming home to help your mother. I have been thinking of you and praying for you.

Your sister,


Natalie —

Indeed, when Leah and I set out we had a vague notion about travel. The past 2 weeks have, with a bright, shining light, shown us why we came and have been here.



Joe my heart goes out to you and your entire family. I did indeed have the pleasure of meeting your mother once in San Diego at some Web San Diego gathering (a brew pub in Mission Valley?) Anyway, it struck me then that it is from your mother that you got your warm spirit and open heart.

There are no words to express my sympathy, or that will really offer any comfort to you, but know that you are in my prayers and I urge you to be sure (all of you) take good care of yourselves… its a tough time now, and although it will get better, it will sneak up on you when you least expect it.

hugs to you and Leah both…

Hi Jenn —

Yes, my Mom came to one of the WebSanDiego meetups down at Gordon Biersch. She observed and ended up with the impression I was an important person down in San Diego. She said she was very proud of me, and man, just typing that chokes me up right now. And if I can be said at all to have a warm spirit it would absolutely be due to her.

And we’re doing our best to take care of ourselves. I suppose it will continue to feel like this until it doesn’t feel like this anymore.

Hugs back,


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