Letter to Our Parishioners from Peter Stavisky's daughter, Daria

Letter to Our Parishioners from Peter Stavisky's daughter, Daria

To Father Nicholas & the Parishioners of Holy Trinity Church,

First, I would like to thank everyone who attended my father's funeral service on Friday.

But more importantly, I would like to thank everyone at Holy Trinity who has always been so caring, loving, thoughtful and kind to my father. Besides seeing his granddaughters and me, the only other thing he wanted to do in his later years, was to go to church. I know some of it was the chance to pray and feel closer to God in His house, but I quickly realized that the other reason was to be amongst all of you.

When my father was still relatively independent and living alone (but no car), I needed to see him if not once, sometimes two times a week, to make sure he had food, to do his grocery shopping, make sure his prescriptions were filled, take him to doctor's appointments and for medical tests, do household chores, and of course take him to visit Helen. And thanks to all from HolyTrinity who brought him to church during those days and sent him back with home cooked meals.

Once he entered the nursing home and his day-to-day needs were being met, I made a commitment to try to take him to church two times a month.

Now I must confess, at the beginning I wasn't always doing this with such a pure heart. I complained that I had to get up at 6 AM on a Sunday, get all dressed up (and for my father this meant a dress, as he wasn't happy when I wore pants to church, even nice dress pants). Then I had to drive 45 minutes, stop at the nursing home, always make sure he had an outfit that he could wear, (and how many times did we argue over whether the tie or vest matched, and then there was the time I forgot cuff links for his shirt with the French cuffs (I rigged paper clips)). I then had to sign him out, get a travel wheelchair, help him in, get the car, and get him into the car, and drive to church.

But a funny thing began to happen. I began to mind it less and less, and even came to look forward to coming. I think part of it was experiencing again the religion I grew up in but had drifted from, and getting to know all your wonderful people at the coffee socials.

I have experienced many churches both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, and you have a very special community here at Holy Trinity. You care about the wellbeing of each other and the less fortunate in your greater community. You may take it for granted and think that all religious organizations are similar. That has not been my experience, and I hope you all are thankful for each other and work very hard to nurture what you have, because I think it is very unique and beautiful.

Thanks again for all you have given to my father. I will never forget your kindness to him. And thanks for your words of encouragement and support to me. But most of all thank you for making me feel a part of the Holy Trinity family.


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