Mike T., a coworker of mine and someone I considered friend, a pretty good one at that, passed away yesterday. He was recovering from cancer. He was back at work and seemed to be doing okay but had a number of other health issues. He died peacefully in his sleep possibly from a heart attack shortly after coming home from the doctor's office. It was a shock to me and all who knew him and of course mostly to those who loved him the most - his family. He leaves behind a wife, son and two daughters.
He was a good man, and I mean that, I am not saying it on the spur of the moment due to emotions or because he was my friend. From what I know of him, I know that he always meant well for his family. Like all parents and husbands - he had his times of difficulty with his wife and kids but I know for a fact he loved them all very much and was very proud of his children and only wanted the best for each of them. I also know he was a good honest worker who got the job done and did it well at that. Add to that, he was a good friend to many. Finally he was not the perfect man, he had his little imperfections, he probably had some big ones too, maybe ones that don't seem so big to anyone right now but he certainly was a good man despite any imperfections or maybe because of them.
Today, I got something from another friend, Pat. Pat did not know Mike. There was absolutely no connection between them of which I am aware; that is except one. That one has got to be one of the most shocking coincidences I will ever experience. You see, Pat sent me an email today and attached to the email was a video called The Funeral or maybe just Funeral. Uncanny it came at this time of grief. I almost did not open it. Then when I started to watch, I thought it was a joke and I almost turned it off because I was in no mood for jokes about losing loved ones. Then I realized it was no joke and soon enough tears began to flow. I think, even had I not just lost a friend, the tears still would have run down my cheeks while watching this. It is one of the most, if not the most, powerfully emotional short videos that I have ever seen. I cannot believe the timing my friend Pat had in sending this to me but coincidences happen.
Watch it, it is pretty short, only just over 3 minutes. Learn about relationships, about love, about being married, about family, about imperfections of those for whom we care, about how we remember loved ones when they are gone and how much we will miss them. Watch it and learn something too about how we should treat them while they are still with us - because in the end we will miss them and things about them we could never have imagined would become important to us once they were gone, the imperfections that made them so uniquely special.
I have watched it, several times now. I think I have learned something from it. What about you!
I will miss Mike and his sometimes seemingly caustic but truly friendly mannerisms. He often addressed me as "Hey Fucker". The first time I heard it I thought I was about to be yelled at for something or another, he seemed mad as hell - then he grinned at me and all was well. Thing was, when he called me that, it always was in a friendly way even if at that first moment it seemed a troubling tone. I will miss many things about Mike but most of all, I may miss that about him, his calling me "Hey Fucker". While it only was a two word greeting, the way he said it, followed by his warm hearted smile, said it all about his sharp intuitive wit and his warm hearted intentions behind that sharpness. I guess it could be seen as one of his little imperfections, an imperfect way (to some) to express affection or friendliness; but for me it was one of the little things that made him perfect. I am all that much a better man for having known him.
To his family, I wish them strength and togetherness at this trying time and throughout the rest of their lifetimes. Remember him as a husband, a father, a dad, the guy who tried to his best for you all even if it meant you got to see his imperfections at times, and as someone who loved you all very much and who saw you as the perfect family - for indeed that is what he was and how he felt for you.
All the best,
Flying Lesson #93 - Crosswinds in The Cold
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