Memorial to a Hero
Cecil was very happily married and had a loving family at home and a loving family at work. I am a peripheral part of Cecil's work family and I feel very grateful to have been 'adopted' by him and the larger group of which his work group was part. No, I wasn't close to him but he was one of my heroes. He never talked down to me or influenced me to feel 'less than' even though both he and I knew that I could never be on the same level of competence that he brought to the work of our larger group. It just wasn't important to him to look down his nose at people or to belittle people in any way. Cecil was one of those folks who focused on bringing out the best in people and he was good at doing this.
The folks with whom I work are very much like a family. Cecil was foundational to our privilege to have a sense of family in the place where I work. Cecil always had a ready smile and some silly story to share, just as
a way to interact and nourish relationship. Laughter and uplifting people was very important to Cecil. All of us who knew him benefitted from his priorities. All of us who knew him are aleady missing him terribly.
In a sense, Cecil was one of the 'songs' of our work family. He was also a 'singer' of our work family's songs. I know that's a strange way to describe social interaction and relationships but that's just what I feel. There's a kind of music in our work family's relationships. Cecil would never attempt to really sing except to make people laugh but he definitely carried the 'tunes' to our work family's 'songs'. He was a conductor and a leader as well as being a 'harmonizer' and back-up 'singer'. He played many roles and the roles that I think that were most important to him were the roles in which he could give someone else the credit and help someone else look good in their performance. He was a behind the scenes trooper and benefactor to us all.
To this world, Cecil was never important. To his families (at home and at work) he was one of the most important people in history. Cecil was never famous to this world but to all of us who were blessed by him, he was truly a celebrity. We all knew that we loved him but it just never occurred to me that any of us would ever have to be speaking of him in the passed tense. It just seems all so very, very wrong. I allowed myself the indulgence of thinking that he would just always be here.
I won't try to hide it from you. My at work family has been badly wounded. I'm angry and hurt and none of this makes any sense. Yes, I know that we'll get through this. I work with incredible people and as I have told you, we really are like a family. However, an important voice for our 'song' is missing. You might say, one of the 'canaries' has stopped singing. In the mines, they used to know that something was wrong when the birds stopped singing. That's what I'm trying to say. Even in all with which we have been blessed, even though Cecil left us with many, many great memories and friendships I just am having a hard time getting over the fact that something is terribly, terribly wrong.
But the song will continue and we will pick up Cecil's part and train someone else to 'sing' to fill-in for him. We know we won't be able to replace him so some of the rest of us will try to take on some of his roles. It's strange. He helped to provide plans for us for just this sort of situation, so that we could go on when one or more of us is missing or unable to join the song. Even though he's gone, his work, his planning and his provision is still blessing us all.
We all gathered in a memorial service for him last Thursday. We could not all fit into the available space. Cecil would have been embarrassed, I think, that so many people came to say 'We love you' on that day. Even though he's gone, he still was bringing people together in ways that all of us could be uplifted. He would have liked the music, I think and if he had been there in the flesh, he might have made faces while 'singing' to get some of us to laugh.
Cecil and his at home family worshipped God and many of us at work worship God and we know where Cecil is and we look forward to seeing him when we're all living in glorified bodies. In this world, we would not be able to forget him, even if we wanted to and none of us want to.
So, the songs of Cecil's families will continue. From now on, I think that when we get to some of the 'parts' that Cecil used to 'sing', the song will take on some of the attributes of a hymn to the One who blessed us with the privilege of knowing Cecil and Who received him when Cecil's broken body could no longer sustain his precious, beautiful life.
Please pray for Cecil's families and for his good friend, Chris, who was also badly hurt in the accident that took Cecil's life. I think Cecil would want us all to surround his and Chris's family and Chris with prayer. Chris has much recovery to do and while we would love to have him back at work, we all just want Chris safe and well.
Thank you, precious Lord, for giving us Cecil to know and love while he was passing through your world and for giving us families in which to live, love and serve in Jesus Name.
"Adopt ye, one another, even as I have adopted you..."