Yesterday was Mother's Day and we enjoyed the company of my in-laws for several hours after church. Since it was so beautiful, we decided to cook out. It has been a long time since we've done this.....maybe since before my BIL passed away last year. I'm not really sure why we stopped. Personally, things are not as much fun without him. He was always the life of the party. He had such a great attitude and was such a likeable man. Anyway, while we were eating yesterday, we all talked a lot about him. We were sitting out on the deck....the deck that he built for us almost two summers ago.....the deck he never got to enjoy much....and his last building project before he died. In a way, it made me sad to be out there enjoying ourselves without him. It seems that every time we go out there for any length of time, our conversation always ends up being about him. The last year of his life, he was here so much helping us with so many household projects. It's nice to be able to look around and remember that "hey, Mike helped us do that."
Yesterday was hard for me though. We used to all get together for Mother's Day and cook out and I really missed him not being here. I started thinking about all of the things I missed about him......they are too many to number but here are a few things I loved most about him:
- He was the easiest person in the world to get along with. He loved people.
- He would volunteer to do anything...no matter how dirty the job, you could always count on him.
- He was very funny. He was so much fun.
- He loved classic rock and we used to spend Friday nights at our house playing board games and listening to WQUT.
- He loved his kids....to a fault sometimes. He hardly ever told them no and was always, always with them.
- He was an excellent carpenter. He worked with his hands and was very good at it.
- He didn't have an enemy. Seriously, we've tried to sit down and think of one person he didn't like or vice versa and have never been able to come up with one.
- He loved the Lord.
- He loved children. He worked with many different local groups to help troubled teens. He was always great with our girls and they adored him.
There are so many other great things about him and if I tried to name them all, I would be sitting here the rest of my life. Oh, I have to add that he was THE BIGGEST UT fan ever! I am fully convinced of that! He was a very strong man and we miss him very much.
As I was looking through old photos this week, I found one that I fell in love with. Mike loved all things Harley Davidson. It was his dream to own one. About a year before he died, he bought one. He loved it and was so proud of it. Shortly after getting it, he went on dialysis and became very weak. He still rode the bike but it was hard for him to hold it up. Then he had his kidney/pancreas transplant and died five weeks later. We are so thankful for his life and for the time we had with him. He was only 47 when he passed away and I'm happy that for 11 of those years, I was able to call him my brother-in-law. In many ways, I was closer to him than I am to my own brother. I miss him. I can't wait to see him again one day.