Please remember in your prayers, my mother, Mary, who died early this evening.
For the past 3 years, she was slowly sinking into that nightmare known as Alzheimer's. Early Thanksgiving morning she started with a stomach virus and the nausea and vomiting became so bad that she was hospitalized in the evening for fluid replacement due to severe dehydration. She went into kidney failure and heart failure over the weekend. Our parish priest came to see her on Saturday. I visited her after liturgy this morning and we prayed together for the last time. I returned this evening to see her. She died minutes before I got there. The hospital staff allowed me to spend time alone with her and sing the Canon for the Departure of the Soul from the body.
The mind is a funny thing. Her short term memory was gone and conversations had become virtually impossible but when I would bring her to liturgy she would sing the whole service, both the choir and the priest's parts, from memory, in English and Slavonic, all the while remaining on page one in the prayer book.
"Blessed is the way in which you shall walk today, O soul; for a place of rest is prepared for you."
May her memory be eternal, Vichnaja pamjat'!