Ann Sinnock recalls her brother-in-law, John Sinnock, as a nature lover with a particular affinity for birds. While John was at the Center for Comfort Care & Healing, Ann spent time in the Memorial Gardens and noticed the numerous pavers and benches honoring loved ones. They inspired her and her family to pay tribute to John in a way that would bring joy and comfort to other patients – two bird houses to attract the feathered friends John loved.
A Teacher with a Love of Nature
John Sinnock had a long career as a math teacher, first in Massachusetts, then at Litchfield High School, and finally at Central Connecticut State University. His brother James shared that following John’s passing the outpouring of support from former students made it clear he was loved and appreciated. “He had a gentle nature and really touched many lives,” James stated. Ann agreed, further detailing John’s love of nature and animals, reflecting on how he had taught her to feed the ducks by sprinkling corn around the pond where John and his wife, Dianne Lastoria, lived.
Bluebirds of Happiness
At their Bridgewater, CT home, John and Dianne had beautiful gardens including a wood duck house and a bluebird house sitting atop a long pole. Ann noted that John was tall, so he had a great view of the birds as they’d come and go. “The birds were a great source of pleasure for him,” she said. This was especially true as John’s mobility became limited due to Parkinson’s disease.
Finding Peace & Paying It Forward
As John’s disease progressed he was in and out of hospitals, a circumstance that caused great distress for him and his loved ones. James Sinnock reflected on his family’s experience with the Center for Comfort Care & Healing:
“We all felt relaxed and at peace once we made the transition from the hospital. Just a big sigh of relief that he was somewhere peaceful and restful. I have been in other facilities but they were nowhere near as well planned out. In retrospect we wished we were able to get there sooner.”
A Place for Family
Dianne Lastoria was also grateful for the short time that her family was able to spend together at the Center. “We have a large family – 5 sons and their wives. There was enough room for everyone to spend comfortable time with him [John]. We used the living rooms to relax and loved being able to get food from the kitchen. All of the needs of the family were met without having to go anywhere,” she explained. “It is a wonderful place. It is a great thing that we have it here.”
A New View
Ann remembers John being wheeled onto the patio of his room where he could watch the sky and the trees from the comfort of his bed. Now, due to the generosity of the Sinnock family, that same beautiful view is accented by two regal bird houses – a fitting tribute to a special man.