I was shocked and saddened today to read the news of my friend, Mike's, passing at the age of 41.
I met Mike years ago when he was waiting tables at Toney's. My father-in-law loved to eat there and Mike usually waited on him. Mr. Sanders was a widower and went there as much for the company as for the food, I think. Mike always paid Mr. S special attention and, no matter how busy, found a little time to chat with him. When you have an elderly parent, that kind of thing means a lot.
When Mr. Sanders passed away in 2012, Mike was our waiter when the family got together at Toney's after the funeral. He joined in both our grief and our joy that our loved one was finally at peace.
Later, Mike took a job selling cars for Atwood Chevrolet. I would go in and visit with him between customers. We had similar ways of thinking about a number of issues and it was just a joy to converse with him. When he lost his infant son, I stopped by with chocolate milkshakes on a regular basis to try to get some weight back on his skinny frame.
Mike had his struggles with alcohol and was extremely proud of his sobriety. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He never failed to have a kind word and a hug for me. Ever.
God rest you, sweet Mike. I'll see you in Heaven.