During the luncheon for the parish’s Council of Women, held recently to celebrate the joys of friendship, Dusserre said “I’m going to talk about my best friend, Jesus.”
A friend is a person who gives assistance, is a patron, a supporter and a person who is on good terms with another, Dusserre said. “We see that Jesus was a friend in the stories we hear.”
Dusserre has been married almost 46 years and is the mother of four boys, two girls and has two grandchildren. Two of her sons were born with birth defects.
She linked her story of Jesus’ friendship to her son Joshua, her third child.
“It is also a story about friendship. Joshua was born with Treacher-Collins syndrome, characterized by craniofacial deformities. He has a very short jaw, his eyes droop and most people think he has been burned. When he was a baby, he required a feeding tube, constant monitoring and surgery.”
Following surgery the hospital called Dusserre to tell her Joshua was in trouble. When Dusserre got to the hospital, Joshua was still. The priest had called several people to start a prayer chain before coming to the hospital to anoint him. After a while, Joshua began to come out of the comatose state and made progress, but his favorite blanket, made by two women from St. Therese, had been taken to the laundry never to return.
“The next morning, my husband and I went to Mass and ran into two women who asked about Joshua,” said Dusserre. “It was the two women who had made Joshua’s blanket. I was taken by emotion, so my husband explained to them that Joshua was doing fine but his blanket had disappeared. When we got to the hospital, my eyes met Joshua’s and he smiled. It was wonderful. About 4 p.m. that day, a nurse brought a new blanket for Joshua, identical to the one that had been lost. The two friends at St. Therese had made him a new quilt. Thirty-five years later, we still have that quilt.”
She told those in attendance that her favorite subject to talk about is God.
Dusserre often recalls the story of that friendship, “because the bonds that we have and the friends that we make with Jesus in our lives are remarkable,” she said.
“We should look at one another as a sacred mystery,” said Dusserre. “Sometimes, I’m sure people think Joshua is a sacred mystery. They ask all kinds of questions and say things that are quite remarkable. Let’s remember that what results from a smile, a kind gesture or helping hand are nudges from the Holy Spirit. Send a note or make a phone call to someone as a gesture of kindness.”
Dusserre graduated from Utah State University in speech, and retired from the Salt Lake County Library System after 24 years in 2008.
This year, the council simplified things by having a buffet luncheon, said Shelly Damron, Women’s Council president. “Even though it was more low-key, all of the proceeds from our fund-raising luncheon go to support the church,” she said.
“We purchase all of the sacramental wine and the oil for the altar candles, we prepare the funeral dinners and support our church community. That is the reason we hold this benefit luncheon.” She said Dusserre was very inspirational.