Friday, September 21, 2007

One Year Ago

One year ago, Chris was in Blacksburg, VA on a recruiting trip for his former employer.

One year ago, I was 5-1/2 months pregnant with Colin.

One year ago, I woke up with a familiar pain in my lower back, and nausea bad enough for me to run to the bathroom.

One year ago, I had to call my parents to come to my house in the middle of the night for my mom to stay with Brian & Sean while my dad took me to the hospital -my dad, who has a strong gag reflex, and had to work really hard not to join me in using the trashcan in his car.

One year ago, as Chris drove me home from the hospital (he got back into town after attending the job fair), I got an awful call from my neighbor Phil who was home watching Brian & Sean - my friend Katie's husband Mike had died from what appeared to be a massive heart attack.

My heart just ached, and still does, for Katie. I met Katie through her sister, and my friend, Terri. I knew Katie before she was "Katie and Mike". Katie, like all of her siblings is outgoing, full of energy and life. When I first met Mike, he seemed very quite. I wasn't sure how he would fit into Katie's family. But Mike turned out to be Katie's rock. He kept her grounded. He was the oft talked about "wind beneath her wings". Mike would do anything for Katie. It was always so apparent to those who saw them together how much Mike adored Katie - and how much she adored him. They were the perfect complement to each other.

Katie and Mike went to the same church that Chris and I attended and got married at. I remember meeting up with them after Mass on one Sunday in early December 2002. Katie was walking on air - they were going to be adopting a little boy in a matter of days. Mike looked like a man who didn't know which way was up. He told us, most men have 9 months to come to terms with becoming a dad - he had a couple of days. But Mike didn't need 9 months to become a great dad - he did so immediately and with great love for Zachary. If you didn't know any better, you would have assumed that Zachary had been his son for years versus days.
Katie and Mike went on to later adopt sisters Shelby and Hannah, and their family was complete and full of love.

When Katie and Terri's mom passed away a little over 2 years ago, Mike is the one who called us to let us know. I remember the sorrow in his voice, but the strength there as well. When Mike became a Catholic, Katie's parents were his sponsors, so his mother in law's death was hard on him. But he was there supporting Katie through his own grief.

I am convinced that Mike is connected to Colin, and kept him safe during the whole time I had was pregnant and taking all the pain medications for my kidney stone. I started having to take pain medication on September 21st - the day Mike passed away, and Colin was born on December 2nd - Mike's birthday. I don't believe in coincidences.

After Mike's funeral, I was planning on having a rosary made for Katie out of the roses from the funeral. However, with going back into the hospital to have a stent inserted into my kidney and the general upheaval that follows the loss of a family member, I was unable to get the roses. Instead, I found Kimberlee who made a rosary in Mike's memory. The ave beads are a blue heart symbolizing Mike's love for Katie, and the Pater beads are each a different color crystal corresponding to the birthstones of each member of their family. The cross is the papal cross that John Paul II carried, symbolizing the time that Mike entered the church, and the medal is St. Michael, with a baseball glove dangling from it, symbolizing Mike's great athletic prowess in baseball. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of it, but Katie still carries it in her purse.

Mike was just one of the nicest, most down to earth guys you could hope to meet. I'm sorry that I didn't get to spend more time with him in this life, but I know he is waiting for all of us in heaven.

1 comment:

Terry said...

Such a sad story....