I have only known Michael for a few years – since about 2009, when I started to work with Lovett in Atlanta. Michael was the TD and guru of the technical theatre department. He and Jay (Head of Fine Arts) were the first people to welcome me to the school, to show me around and answer my thousands of questions.
During the last 4 years, Michael became more than a colleague, or a coworker – he and his family became friends. Always hugs instead of handshakes and hellos, giant smiles and (my favorite) the BEST corny jokes that would have me laughing for days. Princess Bride references, saying “tanks” instead of thanks… (Seriously… giggling for days. I’m easy to please).
In the summer of 2012, Michael caught what he thought was the flu – a bad chest cold and cough. After visiting the doctor and getting nearly his entire body scanned, the diagnosis was worse; it was the Big C in his lungs. 10 years ago, he had some melanoma removed, and all was well until now. His family set a course of treatment and all friends, family and coworkers pitched in to help make radiation and chemo a little easier.
Over the last year, the C shrank, grew, and then finally started to spread and grow. Michael was such a trooper, shining his smile and wit every single day, no matter how he felt. His jokes were still making me laugh days later. On the night of Tuesday the 24th, Michael passed away. Even though we all knew how sick he was, it was still a blow. What have I taken away from all of this? Instead of being angry, I’m so very grateful. The legacy Michael left behind is one of love, thanks and the deepest friendship. I count myself as one of the lucky ones because I was fortunate enough to know him.
I count his wife and daughter in my thoughts everyday, and I’m dancing for Michael, because he is AWESOME. Still love ya, Mike. “TANKS” for everything!