Good-bye Dear Friend

by Betty

The Armory Park Senior’s Center conference room was packed. Not a chair was empty. People stood leaning against the walls. Maybe 900 family and friends gathered to say good-bye to a special man named Mike.

His five children recalled favorite times the family shared. Dad is just a word he told them. His name was always Mike. His children knew was always there for them. He was always ready to listen and never to judge.

Friends recalled times spent with Mike. People who wandered into the family bead shop, Piney Hollow on Fourth Avenue, knew they had a new friend called Mike.

The people who worked with him politically and in business called him Mike. They knew him to be an honest, decent, family man, a friend, a true public servant.

We in the Lend a Hand Senior Writers Group know he was a gifted writer. One day the group was short of volunteer drivers and Mike drove me home – just two blocks – in his golf cart. What an adventure!

Perhaps, just perhaps, Mike said it best – “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.”

As Mimi, his wife, stood to say good-bye, the mournful sound of the bag pipe drifted in from the back door. The bag piper slowly walked down the center aisle and back out down one side of the room.

A lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, I listened, and I knew Mike was off somewhere listening too.

Good-bye, dear friend. I know you’re smiling at all your family and friends. We all called you Mike.

April, 2012

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