Letter from Metropolitan Ephraim
THE HOLY ORTHODOX METROPOLIS OF BOSTONHis Eminence, Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston
February 16/3, 2004
SS. Symeon the God-receiver & Anna the Prophetess
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I thank you all for the many flowers, candies, greeting cards and "get well" wishes that so many of you have sent. I am deeply humbled by your love and concern for my recovery. Presently I am getting a little better. I have feeling and movement in my limbs and my speech is getting clearer. My hands are still very, very weak, and I still need help. I am able to walk without a cane, but I tire very easily. My handwriting is nothing to brag about, that's why Father Ignatius is typing this for me. I go twice a week to physical therapy and for the most part, the doctors seem satisfied with my progress. Because of my blood thinners, they have warned me about falls and also against long trips. Thank goodness for the Fathers, they have taken good care of me.
The doctors tell me now that I had a "moderate" stroke and that, God willing there should be considerable improvement over the next six weeks. So people have predicted that I'll be serving at St. Mark's Cathedral for Pascha, but I say, God willing, maybe I'll be present at St. Mark's for Pascha.
I met with the other bishops of our Synod, and even before my stroke, we had agreed upon the consecration for another bishop. This will take place, God willing, in August. So I ask you, please continue praying for myself, for the new candidate and for our Holy Synod that God guide us "to rightly divide the Word of truth". So, even should I die or become incapacitated, everything is in order. No one is indispensable.Thank you again for all your prayers. Please continue to pray that God will do what is best for my spiritual profit. In the hymns to the martyrs it says they went to their deaths with a "joyful step". May all of us also be counted worthy to meet our Savior in a similar fashion. Once again, thank you from the depths of my heart.
P.S. One of the Fathers came to visit me on my second day in the hospital. He took one look at me and said, "Despota, you're in bad shape." (Always a kind word…) I thought for a moment, and then I said "No, I'm not in bad shape. I'm in the same shape I was before my stroke. It's just that now, half the shape doesn't work."