We celebrated anniversary services in our assembly, Highway Temple, in June. Jeff stood
along with the other children in the Junior Choir and sang his little heart out. I must admit, he
certainly stood out in a crowd with his little bald head. I was very thankful he didn't seem too self-conscious about it. It didn't seem to deter him from continuing to be a part of all the activities he
enjoyed so much. But then, he'd always been a very determined child. I guess the Lord knew he was
going to need a lot of determination and courage.
Later that Sunday evening, when the altar call was given, Jeff put his hand up in response to
the invitation. I was playing the organ that night, and he quietly came up to me and asked if it was
all right if he went forward. I questioned him regarding the fact that he'd already given his life to
Christ at the hospital a couple of months earlier, He replied, "Yes, I did Mommy, but I need to let
the people in Highway Temple know I really meant it". Oh, how proud I was as he walked across
the front of the church and knelt at the altar, needing his friends to see an outward demonstration of
his consecration to God. Many of the children, especially those in the choir, were very broken that
night and shed many tears. I trust God did a work in different lives that evening.
The speaker for our anniversary services that weekend was Reverend Samuel Buick. Eight years earlier, when I was pregnant with Jeff, Reverend Buick had been the guest speaker. He had
come to me at the organ that June evening of 1970, and had laid hands on me as he prayed God
would bless the child I was carrying and always keep it in His care. It was special to me that it was
under this same man's ministry, Jeff would, eight years later, dedicate his life to Christ.
We had a beautiful holiday in July at our church camp at Cobourg, Ontario. The children had
their own program at the 'Kid's Tabernacle' and Jeff gave a very sweet testimony one night, telling
the children what had happened to him and thanking God for His help. He didn't know his mommy
was sitting at the back listening to his every word. He read the Bible one night and sang with two
other little boys in a trio another. He looked the picture of health and bounced through each new day.
While we were at camp, there was a 'mini tornado' which was extremely frightening and there
was much damage done. Our travel trailer rocked from side to side. But how it thrilled our hearts
to hear our son cry out to God as the storm was in full fury to "Stop - in Jesus' Name!". Within
moments, all was peaceful.
Jeff had attended a birthday party for one of his Brockville friends and in his rush to come and
show us the prizes he'd won, he took an awful tumble off his bike. He came to us bleeding profusely.
We had been warned by the doctors before we left on vacation that it was probable because of his
blood condition that wounds would not heal quickly, but by the next day, scars had begun forming
and we thanked God for His goodness once again.
We also enjoyed a few camping weekends that summer in our travel trailer doing all the things
the boys enjoyed most. They liked nothing better than to sit and roast wieners and marshmallows
around a campfire. For the first time in months, Jerry and I found ourselves able to relax a bit. We
spent a couple of days at a motor inn that Jeff loved because of the large indoor pool and also took
the boys to Ontario Place in Toronto. It was just so good to be able to be together as a family
without anyone else looking on, especially doctors and nurses. I don't mean to sound down on the
medical staff. They were marvelous people, and many nights I watched as one of Jeff's nurses would
even come in and kiss him goodnight. They just had a miserable job that had to be done.
In late August, we again continued with the cycle of Jeff's chemotherapy treatments. A family
friend had made Jeff a little red 'Sesame Street' cushion, and when the technicians had a hard time
finding a vein, we would lay his head on this cushion and sometimes it helped him to relax a bit more
and the needle would find its right place. Therefore, the red cushion became 'the magic cushion'.
One day we were walking into the Clinic and I realized we had forgotten the cushion in the car. I
asked Jeff if he wanted me to go and get it. He looked me straight in the eye, as only Jeff could, and
said, "Mommy, who needs a magic cushion when they have the Lord Jesus Christ?" Who indeed!
When we were discussing a family friend and board member in our church who was facing
death from cancer, Jeff said, "Well, why are you so sad? Being in heaven with Jesus is certainly
better than anything else!". Another evening the boys were getting into their pajamas when Jamie
blurted out, "Mommy, what would we ever do if Jeffy died?" Jeff overheard him and replied, "Now
Jamie, don't you worry about me." However, about an hour later, my son came up to me in the
family room, put his two little arms tightly around my neck and whispered, "But Mommy, you're not
to worry, ever. I'd really rather be in heaven with Jesus than anywhere else." Frequently, when Jeff
spoke of Jesus, he would reiterate that "being with Jesus is better than anything else". During my
devotions, I found the scripture in Philippians, Chapter 1, Verse 23, where the Apostle Paul makes
the statement, "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ,
which is far better".
When our family friend did pass away, Jerry and I went to the funeral home to be with the
family for a short time. When we returned home, we were sitting quietly in the family room with the
boys. I wasn't saying much, but was deep in thought when suddenly I felt a little boy's hands laying
on my knees. I looked down into Jamie's sweet little face as he said, "Mommy, don't you worry
about anything; you know people are praying". It's so beautiful when the love a family shares is so
deep, you know what another is even thinking. Here was my little four year old son reassuring me
when I needed it very much. Oh, how I loved those precious boys and Jerry:
In a message one Sunday morning, our dear pastor quoted a motto he has in his home which
reads 'Worry doesn't solve the problems of tomorrow, but it robs me of the strength to meet today'.
I really did try to live by that rule.
In October of 1978, while driving home from a treatment, I had to break the news to Jeff that
another little friend of his from the Clinic, a little girl of seven, had died the day before. I told him
as gently as I could. He looked over at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Oh Mommy, I sure hope
Doris knew the Lord as her Savior." I assured him that I believed Jesus loved little ones very much
and that He would always take very good care of his little friend. He was extremely quiet for a long
time. Then looking over at me with tears brimming from his eyes, he said, "Oh Mommy, I hope her
Mommy knows God too, because she's sure going to need Him now, more than ever before".
Sometimes I found his thinking for a little boy of seven very profound. When he would lay his dear
little head against me, I would feel an overwhelming love for this child of mine.