The Usher

I saw Cory Monteith in person once.

Many Glee fans know that along with being a TV star and the quarterback at fictitious McKinley High School, he was also the drummer of a rock band.

One time back in college, I parked at UC San Diego for a quick errand and went up the stairs to the student center. As I passed The Loft, our campus music venue, I heard a faint sound check and saw a guy running down the steps, taking two at a time. He was dressed in a black leather jacket and wore some pretty serious boots. He looked familiar.

UC San Diego – Price Center w/ The Loft


My thoughts raced.

Should I chase after him for an autograph?
Should I retrieve the Sharpie that I keep in my car for this exact reason?
Will he respond if I yell “Finn?!”

For some reason, I did none of the above, and kind of just stood there frozen, then went on with my day.

That was a few years ago. It’s also been a few years since the last time I watched Glee. Today, I took some time to watch the memorial episode for Cory Monteith – The Quarterback. Along with other viewers, I was saddened by his death. I appreciated that the episode was written and produced in such a meaningful way, breaking down the 4th wall and giving the actors a chance to express their grief in honor of their friend.

Hearing the musical tributes, I felt nostalgia and sadness, and cried along with the cast. Of course, I didn’t know Cory Monteith; I didn’t even speak to him when I had the opportunity.

I did lose someone very close to my family this past week, though. My Uncle was one of my parents’ best friends. I consider his daughter my second sister. Our families were neighbors for many years, sharing a fence between our backyards. When we were young, our dads cut and built a door out of that fence and we’d use it almost daily to visit one another, or even just to lend some rice or sugar.

Quiet and kind, Uncle served as an usher at our church. Rarely in a spotlight, quarterback role, he was a leader in his own humble ways. I will always remember him welcoming everyone who walked in the door with warmth and acceptance. I will always remember him making sure everyone was accounted for, whether it be using the small metal clicker to take Sunday attendance, or helping his wife prep the food for our church events. I will always remember him putting smiles on our faces and laughter in our hearts with his subtle humor and thoughtful words.

Just like that moment when Cory ran by me, I feel frozen in the unexpected. My mind is filled with so many heartbreaking questions. It will take time and healing for our families to move on. All I know is that he will always live on in our hearts and is surely missed.

I pray that we’ll all remember what it says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, that we will not grieve like people who have no hope.” I have faith that Uncle will be there in Heaven waiting at the gates to greet and welcome us, so that we can all smile together once again.

With love,

Tiffany R. 

Dining at Tiffany’s