Cinda Cyrus died two years ago.
She made magnificent preparations for Christmas 2011, even though she passed away just a scant week before the day itself. Cinda wanted to make sure everyone got cards and presents. She was lying in a hospital bed, directing friends and family in their assigned tasks to make this the best Christmas ever for the people she loved. When I came for a visit, I was told to order five books and having them shipped to the recipients at once.
Cinda was a boss, supervisor, head honcho, whatever you went to call it. I met her thirty years ago when she became my boss. She demanded more than I was willing to give, but I wound up giving it anyway, mostly because she was generous with praise and encouragement. She always felt people could do better, and mostly, she was right. She encouraged me to submit my first non-fiction article to Third Coast magazine in Austin. When it got published, we celebrated.
Over the years she encouraged me in everything, from jobs to writing.
We had good talks, some disagreements, and many good laughs.
I still miss her. It seems inconceivable that I can’t just send her an e-mail, or forward her something funny or outrageous, or talk to her on the phone. Since we were both Texans, we loved to “visit.”
She encouraged many people through the years. When Christmas came, she always gave to charities, like a hospital in Africa that helped women with difficult childbirth. Falling in with the spirit, one Christmas I “adopted” a wolf cub in her name. It pleased her mightily.
She loved Christmas. She loved to give gifts. I miss getting my Christmas book and my Christmas flower.
She taught me to persevere, to keep my chin up, to help others.
Merry Christmas, Cinda. The gifts you gave me are still with me.