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.
10 thoughts on “michael charles yaconelli”
marko! thanks for reminding us that it’s always ok to remember and to miss those important people in our lives who have forever changed our lives. we’ll be praying for you and the ys team this weekend.
and just wanted you to know that i laughed until i cried this morning watching the U2 video, the chinese student video and discovering that i, lilly needs a replacement for prozac, and Lilly needs a fenced yard, and someone to continue her training!
so in the midst of sadness i have laughed more in the last 24 hours than in many months!
thanks for sharing your heart with all of us! lil
I so appreciate that we toast the sunset every year. It is something that helps hold me together every October 30, and really helps me experience my grief in/with community. (Something I’ve never been very good at)
one of the things i love about working the most with you is getting a little piece of mike through everyone. i never met him, but i’m working through dangerous wonder and morn for the loss of all his loved ones.
I think I’ll sit on my back porch tomorrow with one of Mike’s books and a cigar.
i was first introduced to ys and mike when i attended the conference in 2002. i heard mike speak, and i was hooked. then i picked up his little book called, “messy spirituality”, and i was gone. finally here was a book that not only spoke to me but also spoke my heart. the day before the conference ended i had the pleasure of meeting mike. i didn’t say much and he seemed a bit hurried. and like a little teenie-bopper i asked him to sign my book. i all but kissed him when he did. it was crazy.
i got home from the conference and i told my wife all about mike, his book, and this wild conference. my life was changed. my ideas about ministry had changed. my focus was changed. and when i went to make some changes into the ministry i was at – i was let go, because the church didn’t like my thinking. i was making JESUS “too real” – if thats even possible.
then next conference was coming around, and i was pumped. then i got the email. my heart sank so low. i didn’t know mike except for that brief encounter the year before. i wasn’t really a big “youth dude”. but i still felt loss. i ran upstairs and told my wife – who was axious to meet him as well. that year, the conference was heavy though you knew he was there.
now its tradition for my wife and i to listen to his cd’s/talks on the way to ys conventions … it’s our pep-rally before the big event. and everytime we listen we learn something new. he is one person that is an unsung hereo of sorts. i miss him a lot.
on a side note, marko, i think you’re doing a great job. i think i can safely speak for all of us here, that not only are we proud of you but mike is too. thanks.
Hello….I’m just one of thousands of youthworkers who was encouraged by Mike many times over the years. Would you let Karla know that she is being lifted up in prayer especially on this day? Thank you.
Marko the Magnificent ~ Flying home from a CITA (Cristians In Theatre Arts) conference at Lakewood Church, Houston (a regular client) today, I was on a flight with two bluegrass guys and we talked about Wayne–they know him, of course. They asked how I knew him and I gave the briefest history–Forest Home, YS, “Yac.” That’s when I lost it. “You okay, man.” I teared up in an instant just thinking of (and missing) “Dr.Yac.” Back in the Bay are I’m brunching after flying home thru Denver. and came upon your blog site…good stuff, friend.
Miss you and all the YS gang (the ones I know.) Love to be back with you whenever my service would be appropriate to your events. Love to serve servants! Been giving a lot of ministry and corporate groups a poke in their creative sole latley. Onward, McNair
and then we can drink wine – missing him too – and praying for you all tonight!
marko, is the dvd from yac’s last talk available for sale?
hey snuffy — yeah, here: http://www.psitapesales.com/pages/charlotte2003.html