Thursday, November 8, 2007

Kostas is Restored to Us

My ISP provider apparently went on the fritz for a couple of days; I couldn’t get on the Internet. I took my laptop to my friend, Nektarios, at his shop, Nek Net. He checked it out, no problem. He speaks enough English and we both speak enough computer to be able to communicate fairly well. Anyway the thing is working now and he put a pretty moonlit picture of somewhere in Greece on the desktop, too.

Kostas is finally out of the hospital. He was discharged Monday, the 15th day after his surgery and the 18th day since he was admitted. We went to visit him Tuesday night and he looks great. He looks better than he did, say, three weeks before the operation. He had taken a long walk through his neighborhood earlier in the day, and was planning, per doctors’ orders, an even longer one tomorrow. Glory to God! I had tears in my eyes. Kostas was all smiles.

Lots of people were there to celebrate, including his brother George, who had come from Athens, and his friend Demetrios, who had just returned from a 10-day trip to Israel, and his daughter Elpida and her fiancĂ©, Panteleimon. Pantelis (for short) had cut off the top of his thumb earlier in the day. It’s going to be okay, according to my husband.

Demetrios (the friend, not my husband) regaled us with stories of his visit to the Holy Land. He told us a million Russian Jews have emigrated to Israel since 2000, and there were already a million and a half of them there. That, he says, has significantly altered the demographics, because most of these immigrants (coming from a Communist culture) are atheists or at best non-observant Jews. Orthodox Jews are now a minority in Israel.

(“Orthodox?” asked Mena. –“Orthodox Jews.” –“Ah, Jews!” This happens all the time; when you tell a person you are “Orthodox” you have to specify Orthodox Christian.)

Demetrios also told us an interesting thing about St. Catherine’s Monastery, atop Mt. Sinai. Apparently Mohammed came there once. Yes, the Mohammed. He found the monks there worshipping God and obeying the commandments. So he had a document drawn up ordering that no Muslim should ever harm the place, and he “signed” it with his own handprint. It’s the only known handprint of Mohammed still in existence. And it puts the monastery in the peculiar position of being under the protection both of the Holy Theotokos (as all monasteries are) and of Mohammed!

After a delightful evening with our dear friends, making them renew their promises to come back with us to America next year, Demetrios changed Kostas’ bandages, and then the bandages on Pantelis’ thumb, and we caught a bus for the short ride home.


DebD said...

Such good news about Kostos!

I have wanted to go to St. Catherine's since well before I was Orthodox. Now I hope to someday take my Catherine with me.

Elizabeth said...

What wonderful news about Kostas !
Glory to God !

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I forgot to say, Kostas literally looks better than before his surgery -- and about 10 years younger, too!

Deb, may God bless you to make it possible for you to go to St. Catherine's.

Demetrios and I once promised a then 4-year-old Madison (would that be your god-granddaughter?) we would take her to Bethlehem some day.

Shall we all go together?


DebD said...

Shall we all go together? That would be wonderful! Traveling with friends has got to be much better than by ourselves and we're not the tour-group traveling types (yet).

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Okay, Deb. Let's give some consideration to it, possibly this Spring. Pascha in Jerusalem??? Then on to Bethlehem and Sinai?

That's depending upon such things as whether the bottom continues to fall out of the dollar and whether there is violence going on in Israel...