We were in Iuka this past weekend and Sunday morning Bren called and said her daddy had fallen and was in the hospital there. There were other major complications also - he'd had a heart attack, had pneumonia and other infections. Amy and I went to the hospital just as the EMTs were moving him to a room and we got to actually say a few words to him and be with Bren for a while. Other family was there - Jim, her husband; her son and his wife, their three boys, uncles, cousins. I squeezed Cecil's hand and told him I loved him; he told me he loved me, too. Even in his extremely serious state, he knew we were there. I was so concerned about Bren - she and I know our limits and I was so afraid she had once again reached hers. But the strength of God takes over at our weakest moments and carries us through.
Cecil died that night, Sunday night, around 7:30. Bren called me Monday and told me not to come back for the funeral. "You've already been here, got to see him. We'll have our time later. It's okay." We have that - we understand and it was okay not to be there; but she knows I was "there."
Cecil's wife Rosa, Bren's stepmother, died March 5, and so the short time between, he had gone down quite fast. He and Bren had a wonderful visit last Wednesday, she said; he was lucid, they talked of heaven. The next day he was "seeing" Rosa walk down the nursing home hall.
Cecil was a great influence in my life during my teen years and I know that God gave me Bren and her family as friends at a time I surely needed that strong Christian foundation. I'm so fortunate and blessed to have known him.