from A Year of Morning Thanks
The man was a cheerleader. He played college football and never stood on the sidelines; but when I think of him, I think of a cheerleader.
By profession, he was the program director of a religious retreat center, but if you think of the place he ran as a really fancy summer camp, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that the man was, by profession, a cheerleader. That's better--he was a cheerleader; he ran a summer camp.
It's been two years now since he left us. After a two-year battle with the cancer that took him, the good fight he and his devoted wife waged is behind them, and they kept the faith. For him, the end of the grueling fray is rest and a generous, eternal beginning.
He died in Texas, where he was born and where he lived. I knew him for only a few years, but to me he was an encourager, a cheerleader, to others, I'm sure, but even to me—and I grieve his loss because the world is home to so few real cheerleaders.
Many, I’m sure, will miss him. But this morning, I’m thankful for him, for his life and his encouragement, thankful for a cheerleader, for all of them.