A well-liked coworker of mine passed away last Tuesday, Mike Cannon.
I apologize if I get some of the details off here, but I am going from memory.
The day of or the day before his 18th birthday Mike broke his neck while skiing, he ended up partially paralyzed. He neither hid his dislike for his condition, nor did he necessarily complain about it ... he took the hand he was dealt and played it out with gusto. He walked with the help of crutch, he enjoyed the ladies and drink now and then, and he golfed - crutch in one hand, club in the other - he had a hole in one at #2 at Milt's (of which I am very jealous).
I would be lying if I said to you my first interactions with Mike were pleasant ones, I was a new employee, and frequently didn't know what I was talking about. Mike let you know when you were wrong ... he also let you know when you were right. When I moved to the overnight shift, I got a chance to know him better. He remembered you, and remembered stuff about you and asked about it. He liked to call me 'Saluki', and pretty much everyone else on the shift ended up doing so too. I think I learned how to be a gentleman from Mike, he always had more patience with the ladies than with the men, and I saw on several occasions them falling all over themselves to be close to him. He had a great sense of humor, his physical humor was flawless, and was not afraid to laugh at himself, or others, in good nature.
Mike had some bad hair, some bad shirts, and had the most horrendous garbage disposal appetite. He was 49.
I will miss it all.
Mike confirmed with me that how you treat every person does make a difference ... some say that how we treat others is the only thing we can take with us to Heaven, well Mike certainly took that. What he didn't take was his broken neck, here's to Mikey Cannon up in heaven, playing golf, skiing, and throwing back a cold one with the angels. I'll see you again my friend.