He woke up and asked for ravioli. Just opened his eyes, sat up, and asked the nurse at Stanford Hospital to bring him ravioli. He loved Italian food. This, after a surgery two days prior that did not go at all as planned by the doctors. It took seven hours instead of three, was not successful, and determined his fate as terminal. Not terminal in the sense that it was possible to physically knock off anything on a bucket list that he may have been keeping for himself. Terminal in that his family was told 24-48 hours are all that he has left.
It’s not clear whether he knew this. That he had extremely limited time or that there was a very clear and driving reason to just be there, present in the moment. To be awake and present for as long as it would take. All I know is that he woke up on a Thursday afternoon and was completely lucid. Not just any Thursday afternoon. The Thursday afternoon just hours before the tip-of the Lakers-Celtics Game 7.
If you were his friend, even casually, you know what this means. At least, I think I know what this means. Somehow, on some level, as he drifted into and out of consciousness the past week, he knew. Knew that his beloved Los Angeles Lakers were about to make some history of their own and that it was TONIGHT. So, he ate his ravioli, watched the basketball team that to him , hung the sun, the moon and the stars. Then he went back to sleep.
Nine days later, my friend Mike passed away. He lived a life that was full and fast and full of friends. So many of these friends had fur. Horse fur and dog fur of any and all type. Those friends loved him purely and completely. And so did we. The friends of Mike who wanted nothing more than his crinkly blue-eyed smile, his energy that knew no bounds, the drive that catapulted those who worked for him into sales a stratosphere that they may have only previously dreamed about.
I will miss him so very much. My good, kind and dear friend of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. He was yours, too. Let’s be kind, be good and be a real friend. What a great way to honor our friend, Mike.