Sybil Ajalat Eulogy

The marriage of Sybil and Dick Ajalat is a story of 58 wonderful years upon the earth. The beauty of this story is not limited to the many years their lives were tightly bound together as a married couple, or when Sybil was working with Dick as his dental assistant and office manager before they retired.

It is not limited either to the success of her family clothing stores business where the talented Sybil from a young age played an instrumental role in making the Dawahares chain, including Hoover’s Furniture a 35 store company with stores in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

The real beauty is found in Sybil herself, who was a person with an inner beauty, beautiful smile, and a wonderful character that would light up a room.

Sybil was able to instantly touch people’s heart because she herself had a generous heart that was full of love and compassion for others. As a cheerful giver she always helped those in need. This real beauty could have only stemmed from Sybil’s love for Jesus Christ who inspired her love for her family, friends and her surroundings.

As an avid philanthropist she received numerous awards and recognitions for her fundraising activities, contributions, and participation, but mostly she was rewarded with a special divine gift, which God does not grant but to some of his chosen and extraordinary people whom he chooses for special tasks.

This special gift was her two special needs children; Stephen and Mary Nell. I observed her several times around her children when we visited them at the Duvall Presbyterian Home, and I had seen some of her photos with them when they were at a younger age.

The sparkling light in her eyes that glowed with love and affection toward them was immense and reflected an intense energy of love that spoke volumes about her inner love.

Sybil took care and raised children who could communicate very little with an average person like myself. She raised children knowing that she would never cherish special occasions with them that most people take for granted such as watching their graduation, seeing them walk down the aisle, or have a dance with them at their weddings.  

But she certainly cherished their childlike love, their innocence, and the unconditional pure love that only a heart cut off from the bond of sin can give. It deeply bothered her that some people who were blessed with healthy children would not love and take care of their children. She could never fathom or understand how it is possible for anybody to show cruelty to children.

Over the last few years of her life I observed her struggles and the increase of her frailty. I still remember the day when she could no longer remember who I was.

The day when Dick had to agree to move Sybil to the nursing home has been imprinted in my memory, his agony, and the streams of his tears. All the staff at the nursing home knew Dick and knew his daily routine visiting with Sybil. He went there around lunch every day without being annoyed, becoming impatient, or growing weary. When Sybil lost her capacity of sound judgment, Dick continued to ask her opinion and seek her consent.     

Observing Sybil was truly equal to seeing a revelation unfold in front of my eyes opening them to the reality of the mysterious spiritual world.

Sybil made me even a firmer believer that when the mental capacities have been lost or never existed, other capacities are active or become activated that connect us to our surroundings, to God and the heavenly existence.   

With Sybil I learned so much about the mystery of death. It was an awesome experience to watch the time of silence when the person is close to the threshold of the eternity, and to realize how crucial and invaluable this time is as God is hard at work with the person preparing the soul to transition from the material world to the spiritual world.

I was grateful to Dick and Sybil’s nieces who took to heart the suggestion to keep the prayer aflame by her bed at her hospice room and the reading of the psalms uninterrupted to help her sort out things as she slipped into a coma.

Standing by her bedside the last hour of her life was a moment of deep realization that without God we are fully and completely incapable of doing anything on our own; only this realization can bring God to our aid.

I am eternally grateful to God who listened to our prayers by her bedside and eased her exit into the eternity. Watching her last hour dance between this world and the next life was a painful and heartbreaking experience.

Sybil made me understand better and with an immense clarity how the breath of man is different and distinct from his spirit.

When I walked away from the hospital in my mind echoed the words of the holy gospel about the Apostle Peter who had walked away from the empty tombs full of questions after seeing some of the traces of the mystery of the holy resurrection of Jesus Christ; “Wondering at what had happened” (Luke 24:12)           

I will be eternally grateful to God for this experience and I will always remember Sybil as the reason for being granted such an awesome gift. Glory be to God Jesus Christ.