I was sad and shocked to receive an email yesterday from my friend Mike’s beloved wife Deena informing me of his death. You see, I just saw Mike 3 weeks ago and he was full of life and energy! He was walking to campus and I pulled my bus up beside him and asked, “Are you wanting the bus?” to which he responded, “Well, I do NOW because it is you!” (He had intended on walking, but because it was ME, he rode the bus!) 🙂
So we did our normal, quick catching up regarding personal matters and then delved into deeper stuff. As we were approaching his normal stop at Circle K (where he got his coffee) he started an explosion of compliments to me, and I was digging in my bag for a Reese’s pumpkin to give to him before he left, and as people were exiting I said, “Would you like to ride with me all day?!? By the end of the day, I would feel GREAT about myself!” He laughed, and also stayed on the bus.
As our travels together continued (not all day, but to Lilly Hall), Mike said, “I wish there were more people like us in the world.” I responded, “That would be AWESOME! There would be no pressure, because there is nothing to live up to! No expectations!” We laughed and laughed about the simplicity of “pressure vs. expectations”.
The next morning, Mike was waiting for the bus and I was the LUCKY one to pick him up. Within 30 seconds (after our normal hug and kiss when seeing each other) he told me that he had been thinking about our conversation from the previous day and how he had never heard “pressure vs. expectations” put so simply and he couldn’t get it out of his mind. We then discussed “Millennials” and how much he loved teaching them.
We once again approached his Circle K stop for coffee, and he skipped it again. This time (after leaving the Circle K stop) I said something. I said, “You know, I wrote in my blog yesterday about how you skipped your coffee stop because you said I was worth it.” Mike said, “You are. I would much rather talk to you, than get my cup of coffee.” (He was really big on his coffee ritual.) That meant the WORLD to me that day! And still does. . .
I didn’t know that was the last day I would talk to Mike, but I have no regrets. He was perfectly aware of how much I loved him and what he meant to me. I also knew how much he loved his wife Deena (his beloved) and how LUCKY they were to have each other. I am just sorry we didn’t have more time. Take that extra time folks. It may be the last time you have to take it.