I have not been able to keep this blog up not because of the lack of “Doses of Joy” in my life but because of the grief that comes with knowing that the original blog we started “cancer.askdavis.com” was a special time for me and my son Nate to work side by side documenting his brief but fierce battle with cancer and truthful I miss him… but today I felt I wanted to share a miracle that happened in our lives which I wrote about Christmas Day.
“With Nate’s passing Scott and I were not sure how Christmas would play out for us this year. It was hard to “get in the spirit of being jolly and excited”. I had done everything I could to stay busy; put up the tree, Christmas lights, shop gifts, make plans etc. but found myself particularly sad the Saturday before Christmas. I was home alone and fully engaged in Christmas prep when out of nowhere a powerful surge of grief came over me. I am learning this is a “normal” part of grief but it sure DOES NOT feel normal.
The best thing to do in moments like this is to find someone who understands that you can talk to. So with tears streaming down my face I said a prayer out loud “Please Heavenly Father send me someone to lift my spirits.”
Not more than a minute later I got a text from our wonderful missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sister Roderer & Sister Nilson “We have 6 more missionaries that said they want to come Christmas morning, we will let you know of any more!” (In the end the official count was 10 – 4 Sisters and 6 Elders.)
At first I panicked as Santa needed to be ready but I knew immediately that this was a direct answer to my prayer. Heaven and our son were a part of this unexpected answer and we could do this.
You see 20 years ago our oldest son Nathan was serving a full-time mission in Cochabamba Bolivia. We were missing him dearly for this was our first child away at Christmas time. So that Christmas 1999, we decided to host our local missionaries for Christmas morning to fill our void and prayed that someone in Bolivia might do the same to help make his day joyful. We have done this every year since and it has become one of our most treasured traditions.
Monday morning 2 days before Christmas Scott and I set out to make sure Christmas was ready for our added guests. We had fun shopping, guessing what might bring joy. Another tradition – PILLOWS! Yes pillows, every year for the last 20 years we have given new pillows and it has been the #1 gift hit with full-time missionaries. This year one of the Elders said in the last transfer he had forgotten his pillow and has not had a pillow ever since!
Scott and I found our sadness shifting as we focused on this expanding guest list we were shopping and wrapping gifts for.
Christmas Eve, all was ready and we went to bed excited for the next morning which would start at 8:30am. Sound asleep I was suddenly woken up at 6:30am by my sweetheart Scott. To both our surprise he was suffering a severe kidney stone attack! He has battled them for over 10 years but had no signs of them this whole year… I asked myself as I was helping him. WHY Christmas morning?? WHY now??
By 7:30am we knew he would not be able to “run” Christmas morning so we placed a call to our youngest son Jacob and his wife Renee who were coming for Christmas to give them a heads up and ask Jacob if he would be in charge. He said Yes. We knelt in prayer and asked for Heaven’s help that this might be a joyful Christmas for all who came.
Then I got up and went to work – pain meds for Scott and making sure he had all he needed then in the movie room to get it prepped for our guests to arrive. Normally tradition has it that Scott would use a blanket and as guests arrive put it over their head to escort them to the bedroom for a devotional before we saw Christmas.
With the size of the group coming and the bedroom now occupied by my sweetheart and a kidney stone attack, we decided to congregate in the movie room and forgo the blanket over the head but do our devotional of welcoming, reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 and a prayer of thanksgiving. By the time the missionaries arrived, my parents, our nephew Bryce and Jacob and Renee the pain meds had kicked in and Scott was in between attacks so he was able to come out and join us – a Christmas Miracle!
After the devotional Jacob lined up everyone shortest to tallest and they walked backwards from the movie room through the dining room to the living room because “NO ONE sees Christmas till we ALL SEE Christmas!” On the count of 3 all turned and there was a squeal of joy and smiles on everyone’s face as they saw stockings and presents lining the living room. That moment confirmed to Scott and I it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!
Jacob did a wonderful job in orchestrating Christmas morning! Each person found their stocking and a pile of gifts for them to open. Scott was in and out of the Christmas festivities but he was able to participate in the majority. Our neighbors joined us and the house was filled with JOY, Laughter and Happiness!
Heaven knew best today. I know Nate was right there with us smiling! Anything worthwhile takes effort. The Lord knows what we need. We just have to trust Him and go forward with faith doing our part and it will be better than we could ever imagine!
So tonight I am thankful for my sweetheart, for family, for friends, for a Savior who takes away the chains of death and YES I am thankful for a kidney stone and 10 missionaries who turned our Christmas into one of the most memorable and magical days possible! Merry Christmas and may 2020 be FILLED with many Doses of Joy even in those crazy tough times for there is Strength, Peace and Hope to be found because of a babe born so long ago, a Savior, Christ the Lord – JOY TO THE WORLD!” – Kristy