Heart to Heart
Hello and thank you for your patience! It has been some months since I last posted, but the reason for that actually relates to this blog. I began writing about my grandmother’s letters when I first moved to Brooklyn about 4 years ago and discovered parallels between my life and hers–even though I never met Sylvia and know little about her. I have moved and changed careers many times since then, but I am now back in Brooklyn and have continued to find ways that my life follows and re-frames the life of my grandmother.
My silence over the last few months has been in part because I found out over the summer that I would need open heart surgery. It was surprising news to get at the age of 27, and from the moment I found out, it loomed over everything. I’m happy to say that I’m almost at the four week mark post-surgery and everything went smoothly and successfully. How, you ask, does this relate to Sylvia?
Well, Sylvia passed away only a few years after the letters you have been reading were written. She was only 34 years old, my aunt (her daughter, Cookie) was 8 and my dad was 4. She died just a few blocks from the first apartment I lived in in Brooklyn – at what was the Jewish Hospital in Prospect Heights. The family always thought she died from a heart complication that started with an infection she got at the dentist. However, with the discovery of my recently-repaired congenital heart defect, it seems increasingly likely that she suffered from the same condition, but lived at a time when it couldn’t be fixed. I feel incredibly lucky to have received the care I did, which didn’t exist in the not-so-distant past.
As I, and my family, process all of this I wanted to share two postcards that Sylvia wrote to her children from a sanatorium in Suffern, NY in 1951.