Mike’s beloved wife died a number of years ago, and I was honored to direct her service and help Mike through the next few years of recovery. Although I was helping Mike through this crisis in his life, he was teaching me how to be a better person, and how to render service to my fellow man without concern for myself.
Mike would help anyone in need no matter who they were or what they had done in their past. He was a champion to the incarcerated, the paroled, and to those deep in dark despair. He was bold, would face danger and even death, from those he would rescue. He was fearless.
Over the years, Mike would come by and visit with me in my funeral home. When he would receive complicated legal papers, he would ask me to assist him with them. When he would miss Charlotte, his beloved, he would come by and we would sit in my foyer and chat until he felt better. He had loved her so very deeply. Mike would always say the same thing to me at the end of our conversations, “I thank you for your kindness and friendship. You know I love you, and there’s not a thing you can do about it.”
After a few years, Mike was in an accident. His leg and hip were severely damaged, and it was very difficult for him to get around. Mike did not give up though; he would still come by the funeral home, and rather than come in, he would honk his horn for me to come out and sit with him. I would sit in his truck until we had talked about whatever he needed to discuss, and he would tell me stories that would uplift my soul and inspire me to commit myself to my purpose in life.
My life will go on, but it has been forever changed by my association and the influence of my dear friend, Mike. I know I am a better person from having had such an amazing friend grace my life. I hope he knows how thankful I am for the time he took to come by and teach me the selflessness that was so naturally a part of his being. While directing his funeral this weekend, I felt his words run through my soul. As my heart broke in two, I repeated the words he had said to me so many times over the past few years, back to him. “I thank you for your kindness and friendship. You know I love you, and there’s not a thing you can do about it.”
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the Owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and professional speaker. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.