A Praise from Cecil, and Mourning Tim

03.29.13 | Sonny Delfyette | Comments[5]

Praise Jesus

Medical update:  Thank you for praying.  The Glofil test on Tuesday went well.  Yesterday afternoon the results came back that my kidney function has actually improved a bit since I’ve been in the hospital.  Thank God for his healing hand!  As my cardiologist was explaining the results Connie said, “He’s got a lot of people praying for his kidneys.”  Everyone nodded.  If the test results were similar to the Glofil I had done in December I would have been ok.  If they came back with a lower number it could have closed the door to transplant.  But to see an improvement – even a slight one – is very encouraging.  Kidney function is only one aspect of the whole picture but it's one of the most important factors when going into transplant.  There are a number of factors that have to be within certain parameters so maintaining them while waiting is the challenge.  Right now your prayers for continued strength would help.  Our endurance in this journey, along with all the other normal ‘stuff’ of life, is being tested.  But God is able and he is faithful.  Thank you for joining us on this journey.  We thank God for you every day.

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My earliest recollection of Tim is of a tall, gangly teenager standing just inside the back door of his house, yelling a question to his dad who was down in the basement.  The back entranceway opened into the kitchen, where I was standing.  I believe it was winter; it was dark out and Tim was wearing a red and black plaid coat.  His hair was blonde and kind of wavy.  He wore black horned rim glasses, very common in the early ‘70s. 

I know that wasn’t the first time I saw Tim but it’s the snapshot that pops into my memory now.  Three years younger than Connie, he was engaging and outgoing.  He and I were just far enough apart in age that we didn’t hang out outside of church youth group or when I was at their house.  Connie and I had been dating for a few months and her family kind of adopted me – or I adopted them – I’m not sure which.  I just remember their home being warm and friendly; a non-stop merry-go-round of love, family, activity, friends, laughter and faith.

Connie and I dated off and on for several years but ended up moving in different directions in our lives.  Her brothers and sisters did the same; marriages, families, careers.  But I always had a spot in my heart for them and that period of my life was critical to my growth as a person and a believer.

In 2001 Connie and I crossed paths for the first time since college.  I was working in television in Des Moines and she worked at Paychex in Rochester.  One night I was on the Classmates.com website to find information about my upcoming class reunion.  Since we went to the same high school it dawned on me, I wonder if she’s registered on here and what she’s doing with her life?  I sent a ‘blind’ email.  The next morning she replied.  Turned out we both had been married, had kids and gone through divorce.  Neither of us had any intention to remarry. 

However, to make a long story short (cue God in 3, 2…) eighteen months later, in September, 2002, we were married at her parent’s house in Fairport with a small group of family attending.  It was the first time I’d seen Tim in probably twenty-five years.  He had grown even taller and more muscular.  His blonde hair was now a short and gray.  He looked tan and in great health.  I met his wife, Bonnie and his daughter, Rachel.  It was a sweet reunion.

Tim had followed his dad in the family business doing commercial and residential electrical contracting and took it over when his dad semi-retired.  He had a successful career for over thirty years.  In the process he worked with many materials that were known then or later became known as harmful.  One of those materials was asbestos.

As we talked I said, “There is one thing I’m very disappointed by, though.”  “What’s that?” he asked.  “In all these years you haven’t gotten any better looking!” 

After Connie helped me up and put an ice pack on my jaw I felt bet---just kidding.  In the years that followed Tim and I spent many hours talking about life and family, business and faith.  Like all of us, he’d had his share of ups and downs but life was good now.  I felt blessed to know him.

A couple years later his daughter Rachel got married.  Connie and I were still in Iowa then but we came back for the wedding.  In fact, I played for it.  Since then Rachel and her husband Scott have had two amazing little girls, Emma and Ashley.  They have been the joy of Tim’s life.  And over the years whenever he and I saw each other “you haven’t gotten any better looking” became a standard beginning or ending to our conversations. 

About eighteen months ago Tim was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  The many years of working with dangerous materials had finally caught up with him.  Mesothelioma is the type of cancer that can lay seemingly dormant for decades then show itself.  Although chemotherapy and surgery can extend life there is no cure.  It is inevitably terminal.

Tim and his family faced the diagnosis bravely.  He did everything he could as did the specialists he saw in Boston and Rochester.  He spent a lot of time with family and his granddaughters especially.  Those were special moments.  It was also helpful that Rachel is a trained physicians assistant so she was able to help with his care, closely monitoring every decision and each step of the process.  She and much of the family were by his bedside when he passed peacefully Tuesday afternoon at about 2:50.  Rachel was holding his left hand and Connie his right as he took his last breath and stepped into eternity.    

On the human plane there is great sadness.  Our feeling of loss is real and it’s very painful.  But on a spiritual level we have the promise of heaven, a hope that passes all understanding.  True, our weeping may last for the night.  But joy…JOY…really does come in the morning.

I love you, brother.  I’m going to miss you.  And congratulations – you just got better looking.


Timothy Edwin Brown

May 2, 1956 – March 26, 2013


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 03.29.13 Marcia Bauchle commented

Having a little grandson who is, at this present time, literally fighting to stay alive. We will know one way or the other in the next couple of day, I think. When my daughter called me to tell me, our conversation turned towards eternity. As Christ followers, we know that we will be together again and Andy will be free of constant seizures, pain and a life full of drugs to keep his brain from exploding inside. And when we get to eternity, it will be forever. This life is just the blink of an eye. ETERNITY IS EVERYTHING! It sure makes the trials, pain and sorrows of this life seem doable, doesn't it?

on 03.29.13 Joseph Geiser commented

First, for Cecil - I was incarcerated at the time when you went into the hospital, and didn't have resources available to reach out to you, but know brother, that you have been in my prayers daily, and I miss hearing you on air. (I listen by internet now, I live outside of Family Life's listening area). Cecil, in 2001, I was diagnosed with tumors on my brain - Grade 4 Astrocytomas and was given 2-4 months to live. God did a work in me - unbeknownst to me, as I was severely backslid, working in secular radio - but over a period of 7 years, those tumors shrank and eventually disappeared while going through a clinical trial - but God gets the glory, it was His hand that brought me through that. He will bring you through this too. I believe in the power of prayer, and you are part of mine every morning and evening. I am an associate pastor now, and producing Christian Radio and Television - if I were there my brother, I would whip out the anointing oil and pray over you. You will be back behind the board - I look forward to hearing you once again.

For Sonny - Losing a good friend, a brother in Christ and an earthly "brother" is tough for anyone and I pass my condolences to you. It's good that you have the memories that you have. Cherish them. You and Connie support each other, knowing that he's in a much better place, a place where there's no sickness, and death has no place there. When my mother passed in 2010, I imagined her playing sax with Heaven's praise and worship team (she played a mean sax in her day) - I still think of that, and it gives me comfort. God bless you and your wife Sonny, and you will also be in my prayers - for comfort and peace, to know that Tim is with Yeshua ha'Maschiach (Jesus the Messiah).

on 03.29.13 Sonny commented

Thank you Marcia and Joseph. Marcia, I join you in prayer for your grandson. I pray for his comfort and healing.

And I am sorry I wasn't clear with the posting Joseph. Cecil is married to Connie. But your words still ring true brother.

Again, thank you both.

on 03.30.13 Pastor Karen Russell commented

Part 1 - thank you, God for maintaining and sustaining Cecil's kidney function so he can continue to be a candidate for a new heart in the physical realm. I also pray for the family who will be asked to donate the heart in God's time that will extend Cecil's quality and quantity of life.

Part 2 - Lord, be with Cecil, Connie and Tim's extended family as they grieve Tim's passing. Thank you for the gift of faith that can see beyond this realm into eternity. And thank you, Lord for the promise you give to all Christ followers that we will, one day, in your time, all become "better looking!" :)

on 04.11.13 Shelley commented

The Word that comes: "as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him' ". (1Cor 2:9)...to remind us that what is our sadness and loss, is great Joy for Tim, and those who go home to be with the Lord. A glorious reunion...one day, ours too!