It is odd how we all are shocked and surprised at the death of a loved one. Birth, life and death are just a part of living and yet it always comes as a shock to lose someone who is close to you.
Our phone rang early this morning and when I heard the caller ID announce that it was from the Meadors, I answered with a joke as Mike and I always do. But it was Chris, not Mike, and she was crying. Our beloved Mike had passed away. They think it was his heart. They were together when he died. Chris and Mike are like bread and butter or salt and pepper. One always says their names together. They were devoted to each other, actively in love after decades together. Mike was a devoted father to his Andy and was so proud of him.
I heard the words Chris was saying, but I still cannot believe that Mike is gone from us. His departure will leave a big hole in my life. He was a good friend, making me laugh, making me think and helping me with my business. When Mike was your friend, you knew someone had your back. He was so generous and so good to me and all his other friends.
Some memories of Mike:
*Mike was always the Friday lunch speaker at Art Continuum. His talk was always funny, poignant and sometimes musical like the song to Keith Lo Bue he wrote about "NO Adhesives".
*When John and I finally got both of our families together after we got married, I told Mike I was making blank journals for everyone to keep during the week of our gathering. Mike made name stencils for all 21 of us.
*Often he would add a little surprise for John when he would ship me orders. Recently it was a kit to make a fly-powered plane with directions on how to make a harness for the fly.
*"Free" was his middle name. He was so generous with samples, extra stuff and odd little gifts, not just to me, but to all of his friends.
*Dueling Demos at the Creative Block: Mike and MaryJo McGraw would battle it out year after year at our Artful April event. Mary Jo was diligent, but Mike was always surprising and hilarious.
I will miss our weekly talks on the phone. I will miss his off- beat humor. I will miss his friendship, but my heart and my mind will always be full of memories of what a huge part of my life he was.
Chris and Andy, our hearts go out to you.