tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of yac’s death. it’s a heavy day. i handled it really poorly last year; and hope i can be a bit more mature about it this year. it’s a bit compounded, emotionally, by the fact that the wife of an old friend of mine died — after a multi-year, up-and-down battle with cancer — last night. and it’s halloween weekend, which is a bit silly, but the whole weekend now has a death feel to it. i still miss mike in fits and starts. i’ll go days, even weeks, without thinking much about him. then i’ll have a strong memory or sense-of-his-presence, or longing for his input or laugh or smile, and i’ll feel the heaviness of heart (or other emotions, some very positive). of course, living life with karla yaconelli keeps mike in the forefront of memory many days, as she is still hip-deep in grief (not the first-few-months’ wailing kind of grief, but the protracted “will it always be this way?” kind of grief).
on a good note: i have almost nothing on this weekend. last night we had a family movie night (watched liar, liar). today i have a “honey do” list, and am taking max to the park to teach him to ride his bike without training wheels (he’s a bit behind on this — really hasn’t wanted to do it). tomorrow, church and our small group.
and tomorrow night, a bunch of us from YS are getting together at tic’s house to “toast the sunset” and watch the DVD of mike’s last talk at the charlotte NYWC two years ago (days before his death).
a dear friend of mine from across the big pond (sounds like “dances with wolves”, huh?), wrote me the other day. he had attached a photo of a new green shoot pushing up in the middle of some snow and frost. and he wrote:
This reminds me of our much loved and missed, grizzled, beloved Mike, when I read this yesterday I wept…. I hadn’t cried over him for a while…… then when I put samuel to bed last night and asked him what story he wanted he picked ‘The Three Trees’, when i got to the line ‘…… and the trees nearly forgot their dreams’ i lost it. samuel asked why I was crying. I told him I missed my friend, and then with
the assurance only 2 year olds can have he said ‘don’t worry daddy you will see him again, and then you can drink wine’…… now where the heck did that come from?
…… right from the heart of heaven is my guess
and even with all those needless elipses, i was likewise moved.
for those who didn’t know mike, it’s not too late. two of his books — dangerous wonder, and messy spirituality — have been a life-line of hope to thousands of normal people. certainly, two of the most influential books in my own life. and, the yaconelli tribute section of our website that we put together after his death is still there, with tons of great stuff on it. here’s a link to that.
i miss you mike. i can’t wait to see you again someday. my priorities might change between now and my own death, someday. but for now, you get the #2 spot on my “must see as soon as i get there” list; right behind jesus.