Last summer when we lost Leo far too soon, it sent shock waves through the Cochrane household, and through all of our lives, families and homes. After all, being a community means casting our lot together. As the fortunes of one of us rise or fall, so it goes with all of us. It is striking how living in community makes us both safer and more vulnerable.
I still remember that memorial service for Leo as 350 people filled our church in the dog days of summer, when FCC, D mostly sits in repose. I still recall the looks on the faces.
Toward the end of our emotional farewell to Leo, I read Jesus’ final words to his friends, “I will not leave you desolate… Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you….Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Then I looked at Kelsey and said that we would do our level best to help raise Ryan and Quinn, baptized during Dr. Don’s tenure here; that she is not alone; that we will walk alongside her and stand with her. I told Kelsey that if we fall down in these promises, she should hold our feet to the fire.
People, church outsiders, approached Kelsey after the memorial service and told her how fortunate she is to have a church like First Congregational, Darien. I’ve done my best to keep up with Kelsey, Ryan and Quinn, and have loved the tender thoughtfulness you have extended them, how you have remembered them in gentle, considerate ways.
Tomorrow is a benefit concert for Ryan and Quinn’s future education, as well as for the children of Mark Zengo, a DHS classmate of Leo’s who also died suddenly last summer, with three children surviving him. The 6 pm benefit concert is at Tilley Pond Park on Fri. June 24th, that is tomorrow evening. The Spadtastics and Kind Buds will play. In addition to the great music, food truck vendors will be on site. You will find free parking in the train station parking lot, the Koons parking lot, or across the street from the park.
It’s a natural way to remember Leo, celebrate his life, and support his children. Leo was at Royle Elementary School, Middlesex Junior High School, and Darien High School, a townie through and through. Know that all donations are 100% tax deductible. Memorial gifts can be made on site through the Darien Lions Club or by clicking on: http://www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/darienct/ Isn’t it great when our neighbors truly act like neighbors?
Can you sense how rallying like this represents FCC, Darien at its beautiful best? Can you get a glimmer of how much this would mean to you, if you were in Kelsey’s shoes?
Our faith was given us as God’s gift for a time like this. Faith in action is genuine faith.