To the Editor:
The new year brought great sadness and grief to our family. My mother, Claire T. Coggins, passed away in the early hours of 2010, at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
This news, while bringing our family much sadness, also brought great reflection on the beautiful life my mother had as the centerpiece of our family for many, many years. We were very blessed to have her in our lives for a very long time, but also doubly blessed that she was able to be with us on the Island for almost the last two years at Windemere.
Being able to see her on a regular basis was a source of great comfort to us, but also more importantly to my mother. The fact we have such a facility as Windemere on the Island is an incredible blessing for those of us with aging loved ones. As a firsthand observer of life in Windemere, we should be very proud of the facility and even more of all the many wonderful people who work there. Their devoted care and their attention to each person’s dignity even in their failing health has to be experienced to be explained. Just to see the daily lives of these wonderful people as they are fed, cared for, and entertained by the devoted staff is inspirational.
There are just too many people to name without leaving someone out, so to Debbie Ben David and the rest of the staff, our family will be forever grateful for your tender loving care of our mother and all the other guests you have.
To fellow Islanders, I suggest visits to Windemere whether to volunteer for visiting, entertaining, or just going to support the people there. In this era of budget cuts and the impersonal trends of Internet, texting, and other non-person to person interaction, this vital facility’s survival is dependent on its own Island peoples’ support.
As a lifelong Islander, I feel confident that the many caring and thoughtful people on the Vineyard will rise to the occasion.
William and Emily Coggins and family