On July 8, 1988 we said hello and goodbye to our second son Dale Sherrel Davis. His actual due date was July 1, but the doctor determined Cindy was not quite ready to deliver so we postponed the delivery and scheduled our trip to the hospital for one week later. We looked forward to our exciting day and made all the necessary preparations. When the morning of July 8 arrived, I went to work and eagerly awaited the call from Cindy to run up to the hospital. Cindy went the doctor's office for a final check. Once she arrived the Doctor could not detect a heartbeat, but initially said perhaps the baby was turned or was in an awkward position. After a quick ultrasound, his and our worst fears were confirmed, our little boy had no heartbeat and would be delivered stillborn.
I received the sad news with a phone call from Cindy, who seemed remarkably composed and brave. We then proceeded to the hospital where Cindy went through the whole delivery process, with very little medical intervention to ease her pain. When our baby was delivered we discovered the cord was wrapped several times around his neck and the cord also had a "true knot." Sometime, probably just a few hours before the scheduled delivery, the knot in the cord completely tightened, shutting of the necessary life support for our little one.
We were granted some time to be with our little boy, to take pictures, to hold him, and to mourn our loss. I was so impressed with the courage of Cindy and her compassion for everyone involved, especially our young son Matthew. I later learned from Cindy that she had received several previous promptings that we would not be bringing our new baby home.
We soon had to make funeral arrangements and to welcome members of both the Dorman and Davis families who descended on Sugar City to support us and participate in graveside services. We were so grateful for the Eckersell Funeral Home in Rigby who offered all of their services for free. We learned they had lost a couple of children and they provided their support for families like ours. Also, Dale Pickering used his amazing carpentry skills to build a custom made casket for our baby.
As a family, we felt so much love from our family and friends, and we know we were strengthened by the Holy Ghost and tender mercies.
Over the next several months, we all grieved and Cynthia especially suffered, mostly in silence. She did take a horseback riding class on campus and she was given wise council, advice, and support from brother Robert Wilkes. Yet, the mourning time for Cindy stretched on and in quiet desperation she petitioned the Lord for answers and peace. One night, after a very pleading prayer, Cindy had a spiritual experienced that answered so many questions and she felt the presence of both our son and her grandmother. Cindy quickly grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and recorded the promptings she received. The message was very clear, Dale Sherrel was in a wonderful place and he was busy doing the Lord's work, particularly in teaching members of Cindy's family who had already passed on. Cindy's father was a convert and around this time had begun his family history and temple work in earnest. In fact, shortly after our baby's passing, the flood gates of information for the Dorman family line just opened up, another testimony for us that there was a divine purpose in the birth and death of our son.
Cindy's very personal answers to her prayers did much to ease her pain and helped her to heal. At about this time, her father gave a gift two of his finest horses. One was a seven year old mare named Destiny and the second a young colt Kip. Over the next several months we, and especially Cindy, spent hours riding Destiny and training Kip. This equine therapy did wonders for us as family yet the real blessing came from the assurances and very personal manifestations that Dale Sherrel was busy doing the Lord's work in the Spirit World.
We are so grateful for the legacy and memory of our son. Now, we need to do our part by spending more time with family history and in the temple doing our part of his great work.