Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Favorite Mike

“My Favorite Mike.” That’s what I called him. Mike was one of my son’s best friends, and he passed away last week. When I heard the news, the knot in my throat was all too familiar. Over the years, our family had experienced unexpected death before, but this was different. I think it was different because this young man had so much life ahead of him. I instantly thought of his beautiful personality and how deeply he would be missed.

Mike was one of those kids who brought a smile to your face every time you saw him. Mike’s death made me think about my own two kids. It forced me to realize how much I don’t know them and how much I miss them, even though they are here. They are doing exactly what they should be doing as twenty-somethings. They are living their lives with freedom and independence. We raised them to usher them into adulthood, right? Why then is there an ache in my heart for them?

Profound and life changing moments come when we least expect them. Those moments can affect us in many ways and can define who we are in a positive or negative light. And so, I went to God with a few requests. I asked for a desire to be more sensitive to those around me, and for help to remember that life and those in it are really precious. I want those defining moments to make me better and more loving. I try hard to do this on my own, and I hate to admit that I fail miserably. As for my son, I think this is really the first time he is walking through the loss of someone in his circle of friends. As he enters this experience, my hope is that he can be inspired in ways that would help him live a full, loving life.

My favorite memory of Mike is when he would come to our house and ask to play our piano. He would play a song he was in the process of writing, and he played it beautifully. As I think of My Favorite Mike, I will remember his bright personality. And while I don’t know if he ever finished writing his song, I know someday I will hear it to completion. 
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 Mike Terlicher
June 3, 1985 - August 16, 2011