Okay, I have been anxiously waiting, trying to find time to get this post written. As many already know, Joshua's wish has been secretly in the works since late October. Keeping it a secret was one of the hardest parts of his wish. Keeping it a secret was also the best parts of his wish! His brothers and sister were SO surprised! Joshua's wish was to do Christmas for his brothers and sister--to be their Secret Santa!! It turned out to be everything Josh hoped it would be and LOTS more!
So, it started out like any other Christmas--our children wake up 4:30 A.M. Yes, that's right, 4:30!! There was no convincing them to go back to bed, so we rolled out of ours. Now, they weren't expecting much for Christmas because we had talked and talked about how tight things were this year because of all of Joshua's medical expenses. And as hard as they tried not to be disappointed, one present a piece and a box of their favorite cereal was just a little hard for them to find joy in.
I was actually impressed with how well they were handling their disappointment. So, with forced smiles on their faces, they headed into the kitchen to have some of their Christmas cereal. As they were going in, Josh casually said, "oh, I got a present for everyone" as if he had almost forgotten. Everyone gathered back into the living room and Josh handed out a small present to everyone. They opened their gifts to find a "Make A Wish" button. We wore them when we secretly went shopping in Utah after his last round of Chemo. With a million and one questions on their tongues, Josh said, "just so you know, my wish has already been granted. I'll be right back." And with that he was gone. You could feel the excitement in the air as our other children thought that he was going to finally reveal his wish to them. And he did. It just wasn't what they were expecting!
With the kids anticipating his return, he went and changed into his Santa suit. He loaded a gift for everyone into his Santa sack and headed back into the living room. He entered and said, "I'm your secret Santa!" As part of his wish our house had been decorated in lights by Merrill Landscaping and we went on a super fun sleigh ride at Mountain River Ranch. Both were generously donated to him to help fulfill his wish and both came with cards that said, "from your Secret Santa." He told the kids that his wish was to do Christmas for them. He told them that he knew that everything had been about him for a long time and he knew that that must be hard. And because of that, he wanted to do something for them. One at a time, the kids sat on his knee and he gave them a gift out of his sack. It was sweet. It was emotional and the kids thought that was the end. Little did they know that he was just getting started. You should of heard the squeals when he said, "well, I better go refill my sack!"
The morning lasted and lasted as he returned time and again from what seemed like his unending room of gifts. He shared stories of his wish--of how we went shopping in Utah after his last round of Chemo and hid all of the evidence before our return. Of how BYU-Idaho Book Store wrapped all of the gifts (thank YOU!!) and of how all of the stores were so generous when he did his shopping. It was a beautiful morning where, for just a moment, we forgot that Josh was sick and it was just our family having the most wonderful Christmas ever! That was the greatest gift.
Thank you "Make A Wish" for making Joshua's wish a dream come true!
A Highlight From Our Secret Shopping Expedition In Utah
We were touched by the generosity and hard work of "Make A Wish." They truly made Joshua's wish magical. They had contacted all of the stores that we were going to be shopping at to let them know about Josh's wish and that we would be shopping at their store. ALL of the stores were amazing, generous and did fun things to make his experience memorable. We are grateful to Toys-R-Us, American Eagle, Best Buy, Sports Authority and Costco for their generosity and kindness. Never has shopping been more fun!
I was already a fan of Costco. I shop there whenever I can. But the Murray Costco, store #764 is now my all time favorite! Let me share with you why. As we arrived the manager and all of the assistant managers were there to welcome us and shake our hands. They introduced themselves and sent us on our way. When we were ready to check out we got in line like everyone else. Boy was it busy. But they waved us over and said, "no waiting in line for you today" and opened a new lane and checked us out. As we finished, I noticed a crowd had gathered by our check out. The manager handed Josh a Christmas card and said, "Merry Christmas from our family to yours. You are now part of the Costco family." Josh opened the card and found a merchandise pick-up form. He looked quizzically at the manager and he told him to take it to the "pick up" window to find out what it was. At this point all of the assistant managers had their phones out and were either taking pictures or recording. Josh was handed a brand new X-Box 360 and a game to go with it! Can you believe that they had all pooled their money to buy it for Josh?!! They knew Josh hadn't asked for anything for himself and they wanted to make sure he got something for Christmas. We were so touched. There were tears from managers and on-lookers alike.
So if you are ever in Murray, stop at Costco. Tell them that Josh sent you!!