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In Honor of Silvia Frank

Addendum 12/9/2010 - 8pm - For those wanting to donate funds to the five girls, ages 3 to 17, here is the bank information you will need.

Routing#: 322274527
Acct#: 1020018003
"Frank Girls"

Addendum 12/3/2010 - 9pm - Silvia's funeral/viewing will be held on Saturday, December 11th, from 12 P.M. to 4 P.M. IT WILL BE FOR FOUR HOURS ONLY--AND ONLY ON THIS DAY The funeral home is:

McWane Family Funeral Home
350 North San Jacinto Street
Hemet, CA 92543-3110
(951) 658-9497

Hemet Valley Medical Center - 1117 East Devonshire Avenue, Hemet, California, 92543 951-652-2811 is collecting gifts of food, money and presents for the girls. An account has been set up so donations can be deposited directly into an account for them. I will post the account information as soon as I have it.

Wrapped Christmas presents for the girls may also be brought/sent to the hospital. Their ages are: 3 (on Christmas Eve, so she will also need birthday presents), 4, 13, 15 and 17. The gifts do not need to be extravagant; any gift will be much appreciated.

(The original piece below.)

I just learned that one of my clients, a mom of five girls, two for whom I was the midwife, was shot dead by her estranged husband last night. I am crazy with anger at her husband and excruciatingly sad for those girls who range in age from 17 down to 3. I hardly have words. 

Silvia was a Labor & Delivery Nurse who defied her peers and had homebirths anyway, knowing they were, for her, safer than being in the hospital. The two births where I was with her, she labored happily, albeit loudly. The second to the last birth was in her bed; the last one, on Christmas Eve three years ago, in her bathtub. 

She lived for those girls. 

People always asked her if she kept having babies trying to get a boy. She rarely told anyone she had already had a son, but that he’d died at birth. During the pregnancy with her baby boy, her membranes ruptured, before labor began, and she’d had a vasa previa with a velamentous insertion; the baby died before she got to the hospital via ambulance. She insisted on a natural birth and after her son was born, the family stayed with him for about twelve hours before letting him go. She kept pictures of him on an alter (of sorts) and he was a part of each birth she had. Many of her doctor and nurse friends thought she was nuts to have a homebirth anyway, but especially after her son died. She knew, of course, how rare and random the death had been and kept her heart focused on homebirths. 

Silvia wanted to be a midwife in the worst way. She talked to me often about apprenticing with me, after the girls were grown, she said. Nursing was a way for her to feed the family even though she really disliked the role she played in so many births; it was tough for her to witness the (often) 50% cesarean rate at the hospitals she worked in. She’d call or message me and we’d decompress together after particularly gnarly births. She never lost her midwife-heart. 

One of her nurse-friends sent me an email this morning, letting me know about Silvia’s death, that her husband had killed her, in front of one of her girls, as she was walking out of a restaurant. I can’t find anything in the news yet, but keep watching. Her friend told me she knew I’d want to know, that Silvia talked about me all the time and loved imagining herself being a homebirth midwife someday.

(Addendum 12/3/2010 - Yesterday, Frank {as her husband is known, not Wilbert] was charged with murder and denied bail. This is also the most recent news report: Wife shot, killed in front of San Jacinto restaurant - Frank's mug shot gives me the shivers.)

I cannot believe she is gone. My heart is breaking, but mostly for those girls. I don’t know where they will go, but I will always stay in touch with them.

If you could please send loving thoughts and prayers to her beautiful daughters, I know they would feel your kindness and compassion. Also pray for justice for her evil husband who could rip their mother from their lives. 

For now, I will remember her, laboring, birthing and nursing her baby girls. Silvia was such a light in my life. And now, I can’t even believe it, she is gone.

References (4)

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    - Navelgazing Midwife Blog - In Honor of Silvia Frank
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    - Navelgazing Midwife Blog - In Honor of Silvia Frank
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    - Navelgazing Midwife Blog - In Honor of Silvia Frank
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    Response: new year 2016

Reader Comments (64)

Chris, thank you.

December 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

this is just TOO MUCH. So... everyone here knows this beautiful soul ,Silvia,I never met , but I thought was the luckiest woman in the world. Why ...because Wilbert...His name is Wilbert,,,I don't care who he made his self over to be in California.Wilbert has been reaching out to all of his old friends by Facebook over the last year,,, about how much he loves his wife and family. the birthday cake the little party he gave her ,, the vacation!! HOW COULD YOU WILBERT... I have known you since we were teenagers,, I moved away heard some ugly stuff about you and a crack addiction, thought it was a shame... and then you popped up on Facebook, all bright and shining with your beautiful wife and daughters and I was so happy that you had obviously turned your past around. But it was a sick -demented lie.... NO MAN who loves his children would hurt their MOTHER.. EVER. Under any circumstances. If any law person is reading this, look in Lamarque Texas you will find the rest of the Wilbert Frank story. His ex-wife there probably does not want to talk about her life with him, now I wonder if his crack addiction was the only thing she had to FIGHT with. Wilbert ,,,you will be judged in this life and the NEXT. I am ashamed to ever have called you friend.

December 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaMarque

LaMarque, your words brought new tears to my eyes. I am so sorry you, too, felt betrayed. My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry you've had to experience this along with the rest of us.

December 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

To Navelgazing,
I can't stop crying,for those beautiful baby girls and the angel that was their mother.I'm sorry for ranting... But I am angry! He had NO RIGHT!! And anybody who knows Wilbert, can talk about his pain,, all they want. WE All have pain,,,but none of us has A RIGHT to visit our PAIN on children. Those girls DESERVE their mother.
Tell me what is the worst thing you can do to a child.... I can't think of anything worst. Can you?
From someone with professional Psych background...I know addiction/illness are insidious and often hurt everyone around them,,,, but everyday that person has choices ..
Wilbert obviously got help before so he KNEW how to do that....make no mistake....WiIbert chose EVIL,that,day and from the history of domestic violence that is being told,he chose it again and again. That is the difference between sick and evil.Sick people get help ,,evil people cover it up, because they don't want to stop what they are doing.! I don't know what made him evil nor do I care.
But his life doesn't add up...his life is filled with contradictions,and betrayals,( I for one would have told anyone he was a good God-fearing husband and father based on the deliberate lies he was telling me).. but I will leave that to the law,, to fill in. It won't help these children or their mother and her family.

December 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaMarque

LaMarque: Call me Barb.

It certainly must be the craziest, unreal-ist thing you could have imagined with the Frank family.

One of his (former?) work buddies went to see him in jail (I *highly* discourage anyone but family to do so) and, apparently, Wilbert/Frank did nothing but slump down and cry. My disgusted heart cries for Silvia who will never have the opportunity to cry again. That he has that privilege makes me sick to my stomach. It's simply unreal to think I know a murderer. Now I understand all those neighbors who said, "But he was such a nice guy!" as the perpetrator is being led out in handcuffs.

I don't know if prisoners in prison have access to the Internet. I pray not. But, if Frank were to ever read these comments about his beautiful wife and amazing children, I pray he dies a thousand painful deaths for every tear those girls have shed.

December 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

LaMarque: I did get your next comment, but am withholding it because his daughters and family reads here and while our/their anger is absolutely warranted, I think it's important to remember that Frank was their father and they lost him that day, too.

Feel free to dialogue with me privately if you want/need to; I am here to listen and talk with.

December 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

This whole situation is just so sad and horrible and what is even sadder is another women has died a senseless death in our community at the hands of her abusive husband. When women do reach out to shelters they are told that they must give up their rights to leave for 60 days, take a leave of absence from their job. This is a very hard thing to do today being that we are all trying to hold on to our jobs to take care of our children but what is most disturbing is that they will not help a women unless she is in a safe place. “Safe Place” how do they get to a safe place if they are in a home with an abuser. If anyone knows of a shelter that is local please let me know. I need to get my sister and her children help before she becomes another local victim. My heart goes out to these beautiful girls.

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSo sad....

So Sad...

What community are you in?

You can always call any Abuse Hotline and ask them. They are sure to help you. I hope your sister and her children are able to get out. My heart goes out to you.

January 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

Thank you so much...We actually were able to get her out and sent her to VA..She is now safe and sound however the shelter hotline was not able to help her at all..

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSo sad....

i just stumbled on this site and have been reading the entries and rememberances here about silvia.

i am half a world away and never met her, or heard anything of her story, only knowing what i know from what is here on the site.

just the pics alone tell the story of an amazing and loving mother ... look at the faces of joy and love captured in them ...

i am so sad for every one included in and touched by this story and will say a prayer for all.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterat

I was with Lettie (as I called her) when her son was born. She was a great mother, daughter and sister. We took several college classes together and had lots of fun laughing together and discussing our children. She is missed by all. What a wonderful woman.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Apodaca

I want too say thank you for all of your guys prayers & thoughts. I knew the site was up ,but never had the courage too come on & read everything.
I never in a million years thought I'd be visiting a memorial site for my mom.
She was everything you guys have said & more.
It's really amazing too know how much she changed peoples lives and how everyone could see how great of a person she was.

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClarke Frank

Your mama is still in all of our hearts, sweet Clarke. As are your sisters. I love you.

June 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

Every once in a while I get so sick to my stomach sad that I won't ever be able to see her beautiful face. I want nothing more than to have her wish me a goodnight or even scream at me to clean my room, anything. I cannot thank you all enough for participating in this page. The comments on here really do make everything that much less painful.

June 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMiller Frank

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