Thursday, January 10, 2008

Priceless Gifts

I was asked to write a memorial tribute, a summary of who my brother was. He offered a priceless gift in his passing, he was a donor. The NC Eye Bank asked for a short tribute, and a picture. It will be featured in a Memorial Book, on their website, and in a video presentation at a memorial service in April. Below is what I offered...

'Mike' 12/15/67-08/06/07

All who knew him called him ‘Mike’. My dad asked me to write this memorial and to mention a few things about my brother that others should know, its unfortunate for anyone to have missed out on knowing such a man.

One of Mike’s best qualities was his character. Without fail, he drew attention to himself with his ability to look you in the eye when talking. It was important to him to exude confidence in everything he did, most importantly in raising his children. He was a remarkable father to his two children, giving his time, instilling lifelong values while showing love and patience to his children was his first priority always. And while he may have only been here in their lives for what seems a short time here on earth, he has managed to leave with them a lifetime of love and morals in teaching them to be proud of who they are, not what they have, and how to live their lives treating others like they want to be treated, holding their heads up high even when things seem like they’re not going right. When his children had mis-behaved or needed to understand that life throws curve balls to us from time to time he always said to them ‘you’d better Tighten-Up’.

Another of Mike’s best features were his eyes… when we received the call from the NC Eye Bank on donor participation, it was a hard decision to make until we found that on his license he wanted to be a donor. We knew that without a doubt we’d not do right by Mike if we didn’t honor his wishes in that. Mike’s eyes could stop you in mid-conversation, he had a way of smiling in his eyes and emotions were clear when you looked into them. Honest, caring, loving and thoughtful eyes. A shade of blue like no other I’ve ever seen. During any conversation with Mike, he never made you feel like he wasn’t listening, because he kept his eyes on yours in a way that made you feel like whatever you were talking about with him at that moment was the most important conversation you ever had with him. There was trust, and kindness in his eyes and it’s a quality that is hard to come by.

To sum it all up, Mike was an energetic man, who loved his kids, his family and his life. He really did live life for each day, not wasting a moment; he appreciated everyone in his life. He had a strong value system and put his family first. He gave 100% to his family, his job, and his friends. His hobbies included fishing, RC Airplanes, and just hanging out at home with his family. He leaves behind 2 children of his own, a fiance and her son and is survived by his mother, father, brother and sister. The friends and family left behind know in our hearts that Heaven needed another angel, and who better to do the job then Mike.