A message from Lisa, Nick’s mom:
I cannot believe it has almost been 6 months since my last update. It pleasantly surprises me to have people ask “How Nick is doing.”
Well Jan. 11th our dear friends put on a Golf 4 Nick tournament. It was a beautiful event, day and evening.
In Feb. he started attending meetings with his scout troop again. This has been great for him – another part of his life returned. At the end of July he will be going with them to Camp Whittsett for 1 week. We are very excited for him.
Then in March, he went with his 8th grade class and dad to Washington D.C. for a week. This was a jam packed week from early morning till late at night but it was quite memorable.
April brought us a surprise. We had noticed for a few weeks that Nick’s short term memory loss had worsened and he was exhausted all the time. April 7th, we went for an appointment with the neurologist and that afternoon Nick was checked into Children’s Hospital. He had the full work up including an MRA. They were checking to make sure he was not having mini strokes. The tests came back negative on April 9th at 6pm, the evening of Nick’s 14th birthday. He was released and I drove him from the hospital straight to youth group where we had a surprise pizza party for him.
A week later he had a sleep study and he has apnea, but it’s nothing that a machine can’t help him with. Nick didn’t let any of this stop him in April. Knowing he wants to pass the 100 yard swim test at Boy Scout camp he decided he should take swim lessons. So he started private lessons twice a week and continued until just last week. The pool is a haven for him – in the pool he is free of his wheelchair and he is “normal.” And at the end of the month he found out that he will be going to High Tech High International for the fall.
May 3rd was the one year mark of Nicholas’ stroke and the day many of you became part of our family. While we did go through some grieving we also recalled an amazing year of support, new friendships, stories shared and God’s love manifested to each of us in a tangible way – we experienced “Jesus with skin on.” Of course Nick would have no part of any sadness and he did an “all-nighter” with his youth group. On Sunday we celebrated with our church. A week later he volunteered to work at family camp clearing tables and serving food.
That brings us to June. Nick was inducted into the Order of the Arrow (this is an honor society in Boy Scouts). It was an overnight under the stars and participating in community service work that completed the ceremony. June 19th Nicholas graduated from the 8th grade at Literacy First Charter. While this was great, nothing really compared to how he received his diploma. You see last October, he told his principal that he wanted to walk with his class at graduation. Well he did walk. In the procession with 2 forearm crutches and then he walked up some steps and across the stage with 1 crutch to receive his diploma.
Just 6 weeks earlier I watched my son practice walking on the lawn at his physical therapy. On this day, he fell at least a half dozen times and each time he would get right up – he never grumbled, looked dismayed or showed any discouragement. He even shooed his therapist away and told him to stand several feet away. Nick didn’t know I was there at the end of the parking lot watching from my car with tears streaming down my face. He also didn’t know how in those 20 minutes of observing him, he ministered to me. I was feeling down about some things and in watching him I gathered my strength and realized, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” While in rehabilitation I would have him repeat this verse.
Little did I know I would watch this played out right before my eyes. By God’s grace, children really can minister to us if we let them.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius
Our other children have also stood up to the challenge to do their best. D.J. graduated from High Tech High International and will attend Azusa Pacific in the fall. Amanda finished sophomore year with a 4.0 GPA and Connor had his first year of preschool.
An incredible year it has been! On my calendar this month it says “The word [fellowship] has lost most of its biblical meaning. ‘Fellowship’ now usually refers to casual conversation, socializing, food and fun… Real fellowship is experiencing life together. ‘Share one another’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.’ Gal.6:2”
Thank you for Real Fellowship.