Today one of my elementary school classmates is being buried. Now the fourth to go from our small class. So sad. His funeral is taking place as I write this. In lieu of attending I am writing this post, as I am heading to work myself. But I want to write this because he was the last one in his family, he was a good person…many of us in his class thought he should have been a priest. His name is Michael and he should be remembered well. I used to harass him, he was an easy target but finally started getting me back…it was good for a boy who was kind and was taught not to talk back. I behaved like a bully and he fought back. It still makes me laugh. He had friends, I don’t want it to sound like he didn’t…but he was also very much inside himself and socially awkward. I picked on him but I also felt sorry for him because he always seemed like there was a lot on his shoulders. But he was always obedient and complying.A devoted son and brother, Michael never married. There are very little details in his obituary. It has made us (his classmates) sad to read it. So many of us are packed with family and friends, but Michael, a true introvert, never seem to have that out of the shelter of his home and church. His brother and father passed away in 2009 which apparently left him with his ailing and elderly mother. It appears that after his mother passed away on Wednesday, the nursing home tried to contact him. When he didn’t show up for his daily visit to her they called the police who went to his house and found him on his kitchen floor (this is the story I have heard). One of my classmates said that, “It seemed his mother took him with her” so he wasn’t left behind. Prior to hearing this I was thinking that he may have been in such a state of sadness he took his own life. I am so happy and relieved he didn’t. I am also touched by the lovely spin my old friend put on it, it made it much less sad.I would see him during the High Holy days of Easter when I returned to my church and we would chat for a couple of minutes. In the earlier days we would hug but as time passed he seemed to have gotten more nervous and seemed to have aged much quicker than the rest of us and more awkward in knowing what to do and how to converse. I remember leaving a little sad after our last meet-up. So today, I just want to remember someone who was kind, intelligent, holy and who has no immediate family left. I feel overwhelmingly blessed by the number of people I count in my tribe, the idea of none being left is troubling to me. Who will remember him? Well, his classmates. His classmates who walked the same halls at Holy Trinity from where he is buried today. And we will remember him affectionately.Rest in Peace Michael, your life mattered.
Sending the Polish boy off with some bagpipes. 🙂