I'm happy to report that we're going to be just fine because she built the program on a solid foundation that will weather this time of transition.
Cecile was selected as manager before the House was built, allowing her to plan and prepare literally from the ground up. One of her first decisions was to bring donuts to the construction crew every Friday. (She thought it would be a good way to assure that our House would be the best ever.) And with that she instituted the first of many traditions. Donut Friday continues to day.
Cecile always said that a Fisher House manager needs to be Mary Poppins, creative and loving with a spine of steel. Being able to sing and dance doesn't hurt, either. Cecile built a small but effective team that learned how to change hats at a moment's notice. (That report for Central Office could wait if a guest needed a listening ear.) She made sure that the House was beautifully maintained and decorated. She endorsed new ideas for programs, happy to try anything that had a chance of improving the lives of guests. She understood the burden that is placed on caregivers and made sure that everything happening in the House was focused on easing that burden. She listened, loved, innovated and taught us all how to sing "O Canada", with harmonies.
Happily, the shock of Cecile's retirement was tempered by the hospital's decision to detail Michelle Power as the Interim Manager. Michelle had shared an office with Cecile while the House was being built and was involved in helping plan the groundbreaking and dedication. As an advocate of Fisher House from the beginning she brought with her a commitment to learn the program from the inside and make sure that the best candidate is hired to pick up where Cecile left off.
Change is never easy. Saying "goodbye" to a good friend is hard. But we are thankful for the legacy Cecile created and committed to carrying it forward in the service of all the families who come to stay.