- Easter Story
- Telling the Easter Story of the Cross to Young Children
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As we sang the final line, Mum smiled at me and squeezed my hand. How I loved her! She was a Latter-day Saint in every sense of the word. Not long after that, things began to go terribly wrong. One night I was awakened by noises coming from another room. I got up to check and found Mum pacing the living room floor, her face a mask of pain.
Tears coursed down her cheeks, and her hands were clenched so tightly at her sides that the nails bit into her flesh. When she found that she had been discovered, she sat down and buried her face in her hands, sobbing like an abandoned child. I ran to her side, and held her to me. I hated to see her like this.
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It seemed as though her sobs came from the deepest parts of her soul. Mum shook her head. I can hardly stand it, Brad.
I groped vainly for something comforting to say. We sat in silence for a few moments, and Mum began to relax a bit. The agony was beginning to ease. After that, I would lie awake at night, straining my ears for sounds of movement in the darkness. Sometimes I would hear the door creak as my mother crept outside to suffer in the privacy of the backyard.
She had insisted that I say nothing to my father, so I let it bottle up inside me until it almost drove me crazy. Mum would become exhausted for no reason, and she would fly off the handle at any little thing. Dad worried about this strange behaviour, but when he questioned it, Mum shrugged it off. Finally, when she quit eating and started losing weight, Dad practically had to drag her to the doctor.
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That first visit to the hospital became a prison sentence for my mother. Soon a diagnosis was reached. Dad sat with Mum, whispering words of encouragement as she lay hurt and weak on the sterile white of the hospital bed. A doctor entered the room. The doctor cleared his throat. Davis, your wife is suffering from acute myelocytic leukemia. After that things really changed in the Davis household. A series of drugs were prescribed for her to take at home, and every week she faced a trip to the haematology clinic for more tests and injections. The results were brutal, but she bore these things well.
The doctors really did do their best. Finally, a lung infection put Mum into the hospital for round-the-clock medical attention. When would the surgery end? Would our mother be all right? I guess we must have sat there for an hour or so before the surgeon finally made an appearance. He was a small man with a balding head and a grey moustache. Entering the room, he paused, studying the floor. My father stood up. For a while, nobody made a sound. Then doctor Wilson spoke. I could see that this was a hard speech for him to make. There was stunned silence for a moment. Then Bronwyn burst into a flood of grief.
My whole world had just fallen apart. I felt a bitter anger welling up from the deepest recesses of my soul. I had prayed desperately that my mother would be cured, but God had done nothing. A gentle breeze danced in through the open window, played briefly in the corners of the room, then left the way it had come, carrying with it my faith in God. The funeral was held on Tuesday morning. Besides, I had been to LDS funerals before. Always they were so cheerful and positive, telling us to have faith in God and that things would be fine with the departed loved one. I went fishing in an effort to forget the pain I was feeling.
I arrived home as the sun was sinking in the evening sky. My fishing expedition had been a failure, and I badly wanted to speak to my father. Jason and Bronwyn were solemnly seated in the living room, but Dad was nowhere to be found. I went to look for him in the yard.
When I was a little boy, I had a pet dog called Bunyip. He was my best friend. We were inseparable. But one day Bunyip was bitten by a snake and died. I was shattered, and there was nothing my parents could do to console me. So my father went into one of the fields and painted a huge smiling face on a large granite boulder.
He called it the Happy Rock. After that, whenever I felt sad, I would go to the Happy Rock, and my sorrows seemed to magically vanish. It was here that I found my father, perched atop the boulder, its great, smiling face showing the strains of time. He looked pathetically vulnerable as he sat, gazing sadly at the retreating sunset. I quietly announced my presence. Then a wistful smile briefly crossed his sun-browned face. Then, for the first time in my life, I saw my father cry. Again I felt bitterness within. How could the Lord give us a Christmas gift like this?
Weeks passed and I quit going to church.
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There was nothing there for me. How could I ever feel comfortable in church again? I immediately felt my defences go up. If this was something to do with church, she could forget it. I was wondering if maybe you could go in my place. Putting down the phone, I wandered into the living room.
With four days left before Christmas, it looked as if the Christmas spirit had passed right over our place. There were no decorations, no trees, no Christmas cards. Instead we had sympathy cards lined up along the mantelpiece. If my Christmas was to be miserable, at least I could try to take some of the Yuletide cheer to some little kids in hospital. At the hospital the next day, I was assigned to a frail little girl named Marcie. They told me she was nine years old. This amount is subject to change until you make payment. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees.
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Telling the Easter Story of the Cross to Young Children
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