On Monday April 2, 2018 a dependable and key employee did not show up for work and did not alert us he would not be in.  With some employees that might not be all that alarming but for Barrett Smallwood, our Security Design Engineer, it was out of character.  After making attempts to call his cell-phone and email him we reached further into his contact list but no one knew his whereabouts. Monday evening at 8:14pm I received a call from a Columbia County Sherriff Deputy and I knew immediately what the news was going to be: Barrett was found dead in his apartment.

Barrett had been quite sick with flu-like symptoms and had missed work most of the previous week.  We look back and we ponder: “If only we had…….” Barrett’s death sent a shockwave through the company.  He was only 39 years old! He leaves behind a son. He leaves behind family. He left a hole in our company.  He leaves a hole in the Briggsville Fire Department.

Photo of Barrett Smallwood and sonI’m not really leading to any big earth shattering point here except to say that every life matters, or at least it should matter.  And if we understand that our life matters then maybe we’ll even take it more seriously. Time is wasting. I like how the Contemporary English Bible translates Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.”

We miss you Barrett.  We pray we can honor your short life by it convicting us to live our lives as Psalm 90:12 states.  I’m also reminded of a quote by John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

Fearing’s AVS has created a gofundme page to raise money for Barrett’s son, Zephyr’s secondary education when that time arrives.  Fearing’s AVS is also matching all donations up to $5,000.  If you would like to contribute you can do so by clicking on this link.