Dying in Port Townsend


EDITOR’S NOTE: Judith Toledano asked that this letter be published posthumously.

This is a love letter, a letter of gratitude and recognition.

I moved to Port Townsend some 16 years ago. I knew no one when I came. My family are scattered coast to coast and even abroad. Over the years I got to know my neighbors well. We got to know, respect and love each other over time. We shared our families’ triumphs and sorrows. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that these wonderful women and their husbands would carry me in their hearts, would care for me tenderly and let me know they would not drop me in my hours of need.

I got sick out of the blue, it seemed. It took less than three months from being hale and hearty to being told I had stage IV B cell lymphoma and only a few months to live.

These wonderful women rearranged their schedules to ensure someone would drive me to my doctors’ appointments sometimes as far away as Seattle. They made sure I was eating. They picked up my mail, took out garbage cans. They sat with me in the ER and ICU for hours and let me know they were there for me as long as I needed them.

Where is one so blessed with stalwart, loving and giving friends as these? Only in Port Townsend! How fortuitous to have a life here where I once knew no one and now they are family. So in no particular order, bless you Barb Heckathorn, Ruth and Tony Rubio, Lynda and Niles Forbes and Betty and Mark Mysek. You are Righteous Friends and your love raises me higher.

I would also like to thank the wonderful staff of the Jefferson ER, ICU, and hospital - bless you Dr. Koenig, the ultrasound staff, the CT techs and gentle surgeon Dr. Robinson. Thank you to Hospice Chief Dr. Mattern who visited me at home and carefully answered all my questions.

And last but not least to the amazing Oncology Clinic staff, where the nurses went above and beyond to boost my spirits and answer my and my family’s questions even on weekends. And bless you Dr. Murphy, who in my book epitomizes the perfect physician, practicing both the art and science of medicine. May God Bless you and keep you all.

Judith Toledano
Nov. 4 1942 - Nov. 3 2018


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