[This post was started in late July, when my two friends passed, it has took a lot of energy in trying to continue]
This has been an odd week to say the least, I've been on Facebook very brief this week, and found out bad news at work, that my coworker Josh, apparently suffered a seizure in his sleep & never woke up. He was one of the kindest guys you could have ever come across, completely selfless... He used to work with my wife at Goodwill, he would stay a little extra longer off the clock & walk the ladies out to their vehicles, during closes. He has time & time again at Applebee's would volunteer himself to help the restaurant in anyway that he could, he would occasionally pat people on the backs, when he felt people needed a spiritual lift.
On July 25th, this past Tuesday, he was working his tail off in the dish pit, I brought a container of mixing bowls & utensils over, he was a bit overwhelmed with the waitstaff asking for dishes & etc, he mentioned "They are going to have to wait, I'm trying my hardest." I came over, patted him on the back (like he would do for us) and said "Josh, you are working hard bud, that's all you can do at this moment, you know it, I know it, you got this... (patted him on back), he seemed to be at ease & a better mood after this. Becky & I clocked out of work about a half-an-hour later, and went home to go out to Lake Michigan & the Sleeping Bear Dunes, we had the next two days off... little did we know, that would be the last day we would see Josh on this green Earth.
Came into Friday, and our boss got the phone call around 10 am... The word spread quick and everyone was really quiet for some time, it was odd, and difficult for any of us to wrap our heads around.
That night (Friday, July 28th), I was making a post about my friend Josh, finished it, and was shocked to scroll down my Facebook feed and read about another friend's death, in my friend Mike Miller...
I should say our friend Mike Miller, anyone that has ever got to meet him face-to-face, was treated with a great gift of humanity. He had this amazing way of making every single person in the room feeling as equally important, embracing us with his wonderful smile, enjoying life to its fullest. I would love to be this guy when I reach his age, carefree, no worries in the world, he was selfless in the many ways that my friend Josh was, and he went out of his way to make sure that everyone during Chicagoland (Summer 2016) was having a great experience, to the point that he helped Thomas Nelshoppen make his train & helped get me down to Chicago O'Hare for my trip back home...
I didn't get to spend as much time with Mike, as others that weekend got to do, but in the limited time that I got to spend with him, we spent that time well, talking about where he was from & his big love for the San Francisco Giants.
I have made it no secret in the recent past that I get tired of teams that continue to win, I rooted for the Giants to defeat the Rangers in 2010, then they beat my beloved Detroit Tigers in 2012, by 2014, I & everyone outside of San Francisco were sick of the Orange & Black. I feel bad for Mike's sake that the Giants are having a terrible season, but I am delighted that he got to see his guys win 3 titles in 5 years.
Now for all of you who thought you knew how much of a big heart that Mike has, you are about to be floored on how big of a heart he has. The night of the celebration dinner when he overheard that I needed a ride to the airport, he said he had no problem doing so. The next morning after breakfast, he was out having a smoke, and we were chatting, and through our discussion we realized we had our lines crossed the night before, he thought I was flying out of Milwaukee like he was, and found out I had to go to Chicago. I quickly grabbed my stuff from the hotel, when I was checking out, the clerk mentioned something odd to me that "I was all taken care of", I was thinking that's odd. Yes, I checked in, but not at any point I remember them ringing up my card.
He got me to the airport in great time, while we had a great morning of discussion along the way, we took some pictures along the way.
After the trip, and I got home to rewind, I was waiting & waiting to see $320-$330 taken out of my account for my two-night stay in Libertyville, nothing ever came of it, I wondered for the longest time if there was an error by the desk clerk, or that someone paid for them, $330 is a lot of money, so no way did someone pay for them...
I used to think that, then I start to think of Mike's smile & generosity, and I'm pretty convinced he may have paid for my two nights. He touched so many lives, as witnessed with the outpouring of love coming from his friends & family on Facebook. They spoke highly of Mike, which all came as no surprise to any us that got to be around this wonderful personality during that weekend in Chicago. Mike & I have chatted over the years on Facebook, we shared the same views relating to politics, I knew where he stood long before knowing where he actually stood, and none of it was a surprise to me, he had an amazing heart.
I miss you my friend, and I wanted to thank you for everything that you have done for me, your advice, your encouragement & your heart.
Also, I wanted to add one more thing, only you my friend, can rock out a that multi-logo T-shirt, only you my friend!