Mikey seems to be everywhere this month, turning lights on for me, messing with the phones, and I think he is as excited as we are that my daughter, Susie, and son-in-law, Vince, are expecting their first child. It’s due on August 26th, the day before Mikey’s birthday. It feels like heaven is returning us a little piece of Mikey, or at least a little person to celebrate.
I have felt Mikey’s presence around me many nights as I’ve stayed up working on a new book. In fact, Mikey’s sense of humor seemed to push me off in another direction one night, and I sat aside the “serious” book I was working on and started frantically typing about a subject that has both amused and frustrated me: the passive aggression on Facebook. Both cell phones and internet chat are great for passive aggressive people, who never want to have a face-to-face conversation. Mikey also hated that form of communication, which might seem unusual for someone classified as “autistic.” But Mikey enjoyed people….he just preferred to experience them one at a time. And he liked them in person, rather than on the phone. Ironically, the last conversations he had with me, Susie, and his dad, Mike, were all on the phone.
The last year has been eventful with the publishing of Mikey’s book, Grandma Susie’s death, Susie’s marriage, my departure from the daily work-force, Mike’s remarriage, and the big baby news. I wonder how many of those things would have happened in 2012 if Mikey hadn’t died in 2008. Did the stress of Mikey’s death take years or months off of Grandma Susie’s life? Would Susie or Mike have gotten married sooner? I know Mikey’s death threw us all into a tailspin. I think I would still be messing around with the original book’s manuscript. I know if I had gotten it published, it would certainly be a different book. I would still be living in Oklahoma with Mikey. I can hardly imagine myself leaving a sizable regular paycheck, with a roof to provide over Mikey and me. I don’t know what any of our lives would be like if Mikey was still with us, but I know God doesn’t let us go back and choose the way we would have written the script. If we are all actors in a play, then we are often the puppets. We move when God pulls the strings.
I’ve done a lot of traveling to promote the book and I’ve met a lot of interesting and wonderful people. Mikey seems to inspire everyone who reads his story, and it makes my heart swell when people share their stories with me. It’s like getting postcards from heaven when I open my email box and read stories inspired by Mikey. So thank you, to all who have shared your stories with me!