When we first moved here, Raphael got really sick and couldn’t even stand up or walk. He had to be carried around like a little baby. The doctor didn’t give my mom much hope and we were all very sad when he said that Raphael had suffered a stroke. But Raphael just tried as hard as he could to get up on his legs and stand and our friend Wil stayed right with him and encouraged him day after day to not give up. Finally one day he actually stood up on all four legs at once for a few seconds and then tipped over.
The next time he got up he stood a little longer and each time he tried he did better, and one day Wil said, “I do believe that he will walk again.” Every day Wil sat on the ground and coaxed him to stand and take a step by putting his arms out to him and then move them back slightly when Raphael, with his legs shaking and trembling, would use all his strength and will power to reach Wil’s out stretched hands, and as he started to fall, Wil would gather him up in his arms and praise him effusively for being such a good boy.
Then one day when Raphy stood up in his usual precarious manner, Wil stepped back a little further than usual, and Raphael actually ran a few steps to him. That was a day of rejoicing for all of us. Sure, his legs were all wobbly but Wil said they would get stronger, and sure enough our Raphael can walk and even run, with an unsteady sort of gait for sure, but he can run. He’s still a bit wobbly and sometimes falls down, but he gets right back up and tries again. Sometimes I see my mom get tears in her eyes when she is looking at Raphael .
Raphael tries to play with us and likes to run after a toy that has been tossed. He falls down often but he gets right back up and still tries to be the one that gets the toy in his mouth first. The other day Raphy and Zeus both had the same toy in their mouth and they played tug on the toy for a while, but then I saw Zeus gently let go of the toy so Raphy thought he won. He looked so happy it made me happy, and I thought it was really nice of Zeus to let him have the toy.