The following message is from her daughter-in-law, Linda. The Cinderella's Corner article referenced is in the July, 2003 issue of the Leader
As I am sure most of you know by now, Cindy passed away on Saturday, July 19th at 3:54 AM with her daughter Elizabeth at her bedside and her white kitty Alice cuddled asleep next to her. We are saddened with her loss, but there are seeds of peace and comfort in our hearts this morning, knowing that she has rejoined her family and friends and beloved pets across the Rainbow Bridge.
I want to share with you some of the special moments of her last day. On Friday morning she was asleep in her favorite blue chair in her bedroom and was barely responsive at that time. Mike sat with her for almost 4 hours in the morning, and I read to her, her mail, the emails that people kept sending, and Cinderella's Corner in the latest issue of Leader magazine. The article by Luann (Chandler) Tally in Cinderella's Corner this month is such a moving tribute to our Cinderella. Elizabeth spent time too, keeping Cindy company, talking to her, and helping her get her medicine to keep her restful. She truly added to the peace that we knew Cindy felt during the whole day as our family goal was to keep Cindy comfortable.
The chaplain arrived and we all gathered in that tiny room with my husband Mike, her daughter Elizabeth, and our son Ben. We shared some good stories about Cindy with the chaplain and it was truly a special time. He taught us how to let her go, to assure her we would be able to continue without her, in essence to give her permission to leave us knowing we would be okay in her absence. He encouraged us to tell Cindy those things we wanted to say but hadn't as of yet.
Just before we prayed, the doorbell rang and I answered it, to find the harpist on our doorstep, Cindy's little angel. Music therapy in the form of a harpist is one of the Hospice services available to us. We joined hands and prayed, and he even included Alice the cat in the prayer since she suddenly appeared in the middle of the prayer circle. Somehow we fit her and her harp into the tiny room and after the prayer time, she played for Cindy for an hour. I know Cindy heard the music (Bach) - she had been unresponsive for hours - but when the music played she frequently moved her arms, legs and face as if she was enjoying her own little concert. It was incredible to us that after the harpist left, she woke up and we assisted her to bathroom where she was her usual independent self insisting we "leave and close the door." When she returned to her room, she asked to go to her bed, we made her comfortable, and all spent time talking with her over the next few hours. These hours were a special gift to us. When she was unable to respond, we played Frank Sinatra music, and a Louis L'Amour book on tape for her.
We take much comfort knowing that she was comfortable and at peace. The last 2 weeks of her life there was minimal pain and most days her medications helped to manage the breathing. She had her greatest pleasures doing the simple things, birdwatching, family dinners, the soap operas, watching the squirrels take the acorns off our deck, reading her dog magazines and the cards and letters from folks.
Cindy did not want the formality of a funeral and so typical of what we know Cindy wanted, the family is planning an Open House in celebration of her life at her home in Woodstock, VA on Saturday, August 2nd, during the afternoon. We invite anyone who wishes, to drop by that day and share a story with us. If you would like to send a story to us, we are putting together a notebook, to include the kind and loving emails we have been receiving as well. We will bring that notebook to Woodstock so that all can share in the memories. Please send any emails to email@example.com.
We thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, your cards and letters, the emails and phone calls. These things have helped us to see other aspects of Cindy's life and have been so encouraging and supportive to us. We are trusting that the seeds of peace will flourish to become the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, and shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).
(copyright 2003, The Muellers, reprinted with permission of the family.)
Mueller, Janet Elaine Wenk (Cindy)
Died on July 19, 2003 in Richmond, VA, in her son's home after a courageous battle with cancer. The daughter of the late Charles Schram Wenk, and Helga Henriette Petersen, she was born in Rockville Centre, NY on September 8, 1927, and is survived by her six loving children Michael (Linda) Mueller, David (Carmen) Mueller, Catherine (Scott) Baker, Joseph (Karen) Mueller, Elizabeth (Jay) Capozzi, and Christopher Mueller and her brother Peter Wenk. Also 9 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and extended family including a nephew, cousin, and former husband Eugene (Phyllis).
Cindy was a retired music teacher in the Webster, New York Central School District and a member of the American Spaniel Club. She was an active member of the Capital City Cocker Spaniel Club. She was very active in the breeding and raising of Cocker Spaniels for over 50 years and was considered by many to have one of the the finest breeding programs for brown cocker spaniels in the world. As a traveler throughout the United States, she lived in New York State, Salt Lake City, Utah, Kamas, Utah, and New Bern, North Carolina, and for the past 12 years in Woodstock, VA. She was very active in musical groups, activities and private music lessons up until her illness.
Cindy was a 1945 graduate from Baldwin High School (NY), a 1949 college graduate of the Potsdam Normal School (Crane School of Music in Postdam, NY), and received a Masters Degree from the State University of New York at Brockport (Brockport, NY).
There will be a celebration of her life on August 2, 2003 at her home at 804 Burgess Court, Woodstock, from noon to 5 PM. Anyone who knew Cindy please come and join in the celebration.
Gravesite services and interment will be held at Long Lake, NY cemetery on August 16, 2003. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or Bon Secours Hospice, 8580 Magellan Parkway, Building IV, Richmond, Va 23227.