46 years is not enough time to have lived in this world. 9 years is not enough time to be married to an amazing, beautiful woman. 7 years is nowhere near enough time to have played the role of an awesome father to 2 beautiful boys.
Cancer, you cruel cruel mistress of evil, you’ve taken another far too soon.
Michael, you were so many things to so many people – a husband, a father, a son and son-in-law, a brother and brother-in-law, a great and loyal friend. To me, you were like family, married to someone I love like a sister, my cousin Michelle. And at 7 feet tall, you were also larger than life.
I’ll never forget the first time I met you, languishing beneath the bedcovers with the gorgeous bright eyed Shell on a wet and chilly Autumn Saturday in Sydney. I’d arrived earlier than anticipated to go on a shopping trip with my well travelled cousin, who was going to kit me out with all I needed for my own upcoming backpacking adventure.
As I stood awkwardly in the doorway to the bedroom, you looked a little sheepish, as if you were a teen who’d been sprung. Michelle however looked justifiably proud and smug, smiling widely as she introduced me to her new man.
It’s funny the things that stick in your mind – the two of you laughing like guilty teenagers as you spied the candelabra, previously responsible for adding extra romance to the room, and now was responsible for a pool of wax embedded firmly into the fibres of the carpet. Then there was the way my cousin Renee described you, as I quizzed her en route from the airport to meeting you.
“He’s a genuinely nice guy,” she told me. “The type that remembers your name as soon as you meet and takes an interest in you. The type that remembers a conversation you had with him before and will follow up.”
Then there is the you I remember the most – seeing how wonderful you were with kids. When my nephew was born you werent like most men who avoided babies at all costs – you took such an interest, and were so hands on.
I’ll also never forget the day I stood in another bedroom doorway – this time of a hospital room, with another look that has stayed etched into my mind. It was of pure love, you cradling your first born Callum like he was a precious piece of fine China.
Michael, I am so sorry you’ve suffered and I am so so very sorry that so many people are now hurting with your loss. But I take heart from the dragon fly I saw this afternoon fluttering in my garden, the first I have seen in so long. It made me think of you, free from pain and hopefully above us soaring high.
We will look after your beautiful wife and boys, and hold them in our heart and our every thought. May you now rest in peace, free from pain, and keep a guiding light on those you’ve loved for so long and had to leave behind.