Our sweet Houston continues to improve by leaps and bounds. He can now brush and floss, put on and take off a shirt, tie his shoes, and cut food with a knife and fork all by himself. His fevers have disappeared and his appetite has come back with a vengeance!
I’ve had Houston doing a little schoolwork, too, now that he can write legibly and comfortably, and type at the keyboard. He’s also been lucking out of chores up till now, obviously, but we just keep testing out his abilities. So far, he’s straightened up the living room, loaded the dryer, and even helped Gabriel sweep the kitchen, albeit a bit slowly and crooked-armed.
Houston did fantastic at piano yesterday. He was able to play for about 30 minutes before his shoulder started to hurt. He read his newest Jack London book with me while his brothers had their lessons with Miss Julie and then crashed on her couch for the duration of our time there. Poor kid was pooped just from tickling the ivories.
We met with Dr. Xu again today. Just to be on the safe side, I mentioned some medical history from my side of the family (rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, and Scleroderma) that I thought may be related to Houston’s current sickness. The doc allayed our concerns, stressing that what Houston is experiencing – although autoimmune in nature – isn’t one of those serious chronic-pain conditions. What Houston has is temporary and is curable. Whew!
And in fact, Houston is right on track for his recovery. Xu said that he should be back to 100% in about two weeks and that physical therapy will not be necessary. The doc gave him the thumbs-up for spring baseball and told us to just keep encouraging use of his right arm as much as possible.
Our kind priest, Father Christopher, met us in the parking lot prior to the appointment to anoint Houston with Holy oil and cover him in prayers of healing and good health. Father also spoke of Saint Panteleimon, the Great Martyr and Healer.
My friend Maggie, who brought the family a huge home-cooked meal yesterday, had mentioned this saint, as well. His baptismal name means “all-merciful,” which was apt since Panteleimon dedicated his entire life to healing the sick and suffering in the name of Christ.
Interesting, too, that the saint’s birth name, Pantoleon, means “a lion in everything.” Both descriptors seem to fit Houston’s character to a tee – bold and strong, yet compassionate and tender. How cool is that?!
Maggie also told me about Saint John Damascene’s icon, “Of Three Hands,” which she thought spoke to Houston’s current health predicament. It represents the fascinating story of the saint’s miraculously healed hand and his thankfulness to the Mother of God for interceding on his behalf.
Well, we too are very thankful for Houston’s healing and all the prayers and love y’all have showered upon our family during this trying time. A special shout-out goes to our cherished and tough-as-nails Granny, who came to stay with us during this whole medical scare. We’d be a lot worse for the wear without her undying patience, care, and hard work!
And of course, we are most grateful to our amazing God for answering our prayers for our son’s recovery and good health and for our wisdom. So I’ll close in prayer.
“Lord Jesus Christ our God, the God of boundless mercies and compassion, Whose love for mankind is indescribable and immeasurable: I fall before Your glory with fear and trembling as I offer You thanks for all the good things You have granted me, Your unworthy servant. I glorify You, praise You and sing to You, the only Lord, the Master, and Benefactor.
“Again, falling before You, I offer thanks for Your unspeakable compassion and pray that from this day forth, as before, You continue to work Your wonders for me, that thus I may grow in love for You and to cry out and sing to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”