(This was originally posted on August 30th as “Friends”. I’ve added some pictures of Mike to this post, so I’m bumping it back to the top.)
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. One thing I’ve learned on this trip is that it’s not always the sights you see and the things you do, but the people you meet that make a place special. This is true not only while traveling the world, but also in this long, strange trip we call life. I’ve been lucky enough to share my life with some really special people, and have made some very good friends along the way.
Unfortunately, people sometimes are taken from their family and friends without warning. On Saturday, August 26th, a good friend and former roommate of mine was killed in a skydiving accident. Mike was defintely one of the good ones, and his death is hard to accept. His memorial service is today, and since I obviously can’t attend, I want to at least post a few words in his memory.
My friend Jason and I lived with Mike for three years, from September ’98 to September 2000. He moved to Washington D.C. in 2001, but during his time in Eugene we shared many adventures. Mike was with me when I ran my first road race, and again when I summited my first mountain. I’ve come to love both of these activities, and I’m sure that Mike’s infectious enthusiasm played a part in that. Mike had a zest for life that was hard to match. He always seemed to have a genuine interest in other people, and had the ability to engage anyone he met in conversation. And he could bullshit with the best of them. I loved that about him, and always hoped a little of that great personality would rub off on me.
Mike, Jason, and I all learned to skydive together, and although Jason and I both gave it up a few years ago, Mike continued to be passionate about it. I can say without a doubt that Mike died doing something he truly loved. I hope we all can be so lucky.
Mike has always been an inspiration to me, and will continue to be forever.
Blue Skies, Mike!!
Our friend Megan has put together a very nice tribute for Mike. You can view it here.