Faith and Health — From October/November 2007 www.ourhealthswva.com/
Faith and Health — From October/November 2007 www.ourhealthswva.com/
“What is really important in life? The answer is only life itself, living it well, immersing it in beauty, love and reflection.”
–Joan Chittister: Essential Writings
“To the soul, there is hardly anything more healing than friendship.”
–Thomas Moore, 1779-1862
“The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.”
“Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it onto future generations.”
–George Bernard Shaw
Phyllis (Silva) Crawford, 64, of Roanoke, Virginia, daughter of Jesus and Phyllis Silva of San Diego, California, died on October 27, 2010 after a three year and four month battle with Stage IV renal cell carcinoma. Phyllis was a devoted wife, mother and friend. She was an active parishioner of Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church and member of the Secular Franciscan Order. A Roanoker for 21 years, Phyllis volunteered with the Christian Women’s Club, trained as a court appointed special advocate with the Child Health Investment Partnership, and visited the sick as a pastoral care minister for OLN. In recent years she served as a docent at the Art Museum of Western Virginia and volunteered at Roanoke Area Ministries in their soup kitchen and served on their board.
Phyllis was a graduate of Morse High School and attended San Diego State University. She starred in plays both in high school and in a North Carolina playhouse during the 1970s. She loved cooking and music with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Michael Bublé being special favorites. She was an avid traveler, visiting over thirty countries in her lifetime, celebrating her fiftieth birthday on the Great Wall of China. Phyllis played tennis for years until her illness stopped her, but she remained a competitive yet congenial bridge player.
Phyllis took nothing for granted. As the eldest of seven children of a truck driver, she experienced lean times growing up in San Diego. In the last ten years of her life serving the poor and hungry were most important to her. Her love of life and joyful spirit were an inspiration to many. Her beautiful, irresistible smile and laughter will never be forgotten.
She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Dr. James Crawford; son, Joseph (wife: Leah) of California and Roanoke; daughter, Kelly (husband: Daniel Smith) of Falls Church, Virginia; and six siblings, Francie, Bebe, Sandra, Mary Lou, Sally and Art, as well as many nieces; nephews; in-laws and four stepgrandchildren, Devon, Tyler, Tony and Alexandra.
A Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 5, 2010 at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church. A Memorial Mass will be held at 1p.m. on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church at 2505 Electric Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24018.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made directly to her favorite causes: Roanoke Area Ministries and/or Madonna House of Roanoke. At the very least, please pass along a kind act, word or deed with a smile in memory of Phyllis.
(originally posted to artlung.com)
In 2010, Phyllis Crawford’s daughter-in-law Leah Peterson asked her to contribute to a book about the lessons learned in life. These are what she shared.
I believe we were created by God and when we get to the end of our life he won’t be concerned with our job title or financial status. I think he will ask us if we became the best that we could be and did we help others to grow and become better. Did we give each and every person the respect and dignity they deserved. Every single day is an opportunity to love one another. It is a joy to stand in awe and wonder at a persons beauty, goodness and uniqueness. We are all different and can never be replaced. We all have different fingerprints. No two are alike. I think that is amazing.
I have stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma and I don’t know how much longer I have on Earth but I see God in Everyone. Spending time with my Family and Friends is all that matters. In the past I did a lot of volunteering and didn’t have much time for my Friends and now with my illness I have the luxury of spending more time with them. I have been nurturing my relationship with a few close friends. I am closer to my Husband and Children than I have ever been. To me that is truly a gift. I am so grateful for everything, I have learned to be thankful in good times and bad times. It’s just great to be alive and I take nothing for granted.
I truly believe our bodies are a temple of the holy spirit and we should take good care of it. We should exercise, get plenty of rest and eat nutritiously every day.
I always see the glass half filled not half empty. This life is a beautiful journey and God is not finished with us. Each day we are becoming. God is the God of surprises. Life is a mystery and grace filled. It is a special gift and it goes fast so enjoy every second of the day. And I do.
Many years ago Mr. Pigeon a psychology professor my Son encouraged me to take would consistently say “Be here now.” I was always looking ahead or looking back. It is good to plan for the future but one must be present and enjoy today. Bring out the good china and entertain your Family and Friends today. When I was in Italy one spring I ordered a diet coke and the man looked at me and threw up his hands and said, “Oh you Americans.” “You are going to die anyway why not have the real thing.” He was right, Life is short. When in Rome.
When I was in Rome with my children and husband I ordered coffee with my dinner and the waiter said “No no no you ruin your meal you must have wine with your meal. He was so right wine does improve a meal.
I remember my Father talking about moderation in everything. He was such a wise man and I loved him so much and really miss him. When I tend to go overboard on something I can still hear him say, “moderation in everything.” “Too much of one thing is not good.”
I have learned to listen intently to others. Sometimes I agree to disagree. And sometimes they can change my mind. I try not to be so rigid in my thinking. To be open to new ways of seeing is a good thing.
I have relationships that are life giving. Those that aren’t I let go. Some people have drained me and I just let them go.
There is beauty all around us. I live near the mountains and the scenery from my home is awesome. The deer sit on the lawn and come up to the bird feeder. Every day I look out and it is always new. For years I would take a long walk outside and every day was different. Look out at Nature every day and you will be nourished.
Set aside time to be silent. I am so happy to live in a quiet and sleepy little town. After my quiet time I read the Bible and I have learned so many gems. There are too many to count. I love Matthew 5 (the beatitudes) and Matthew 6 (about worry). I am like a sponge, I can’t seem to get enough. Every day I learn more and more how to live a better life. And my very favorite passage is from proverbs 3:56 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
While I was raising my children, I would allow them to make small decisions and give them good choices to choose from. If they were in the kitchen cooking, I would allow them to do it their way. When they were teenagers I was given great advice by a friend. She told me to zip the lip unless of course they were hanging out with the wrong crowd or getting into trouble. It is best not to probe them with questions. Instead, do a fun activity with them and they will confide in you.
I have enjoyed a great life with so many blessings. All I ever wanted was a beautiful life. I have memorized this passage from scripture and think it every day. It is from Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, Whatever is right, Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.