CECE & Carolyn:
A Face, A name,
On a sunny Sunday morning last October, two women stood on opposite sides of a bridge. Their shared destination: CitySquare’s Sunday morning worship service, Church at the Square.
“I saw someone coming across in a wheelchair with lots of bags,” remembers Carolyn McBryde. A longtime CitySquare volunteer, Carolyn was worshipping at the Brady Center in South Dallas for the first time. “I was nervous I wouldn’t know anyone,” she explains. “Then CeCe rolled up.”
Though she didn’t know it at the time, Carolyn was sitting at CeCe’s favorite table. Taking her place, CeCe introduced herself, not knowing if this was the beginning of something special or just another passing hello. The two women, one from her home in Coppell, one from a tent not far from the CitySquare campus, began to chat.
Carolyn watched as CeCe spread her treasures on the table. Devotional books, notes, and journals full of her own remarkable poetry: a traveling testament to her hard life and the hope that shines in her smile.
When the pastor invited CeCe to share her story, the magic really began. She sang “Oceans,” her signature song, and read “Broken Crayons,” one of her nearly 1,000 original poems. Carolyn was undone. As she wept, she knew she wanted CeCe in her life. “I wanted to know everything about this woman. I wanted to be her best friend, her cheerleader.”
Every CitySquare neighbor has unique needs. Being older and confined to a wheelchair, CeCe is no exception. CeCe regularly visits the CitySquare Food Pantry for nutritious food and, thanks to Carolyn, has personal hygiene products that would otherwise be unavailable to her.
The stigma of poverty is so powerful that many folks struggling to escape feel too timid or ashamed to ask for what they need. It takes a special sort of friendship to open that door. That’s the sort of tie Carolyn and CeCe have through CitySquare.
To enrich their relationship, the women share their thoughts in a journal—CeCe in verse, Carolyn in prose. Their special communications are ferried by Carolyn’s son Matt, who manages the Food Pantry, where Carolyn often brings friends to learn about CitySquare. Whatever the distance, Carolyn and CeCe say they are never far apart. Keeping them close is a friendship that bridges every gap and makes their shared journey easier.