It is a fact of life that the unexpected can pounce upon anyone at anytime. It is also a fact that the unexpected happens and alters not only the life of the one affected but also related family members and friends.
At the Council meeting of December 9th, I sat between former Councilwoman, Nancy Dingeldey and Mr.Goodlein in the back of the council’s meeting room.We were listening attentively to a representative from the accounting firm of Plante Moran who made a presentation about the budget-audit that the firm had just completed.
As the Council moved on to other business, I watched as a young man walked to the podium to answer some questions related to the DPW. He walked with a swagger of confidence and responded to the questions with straight-forward, clear and concise answers.
He smiled ever so slightly when the Mayor ask him to give his name and address, as is the policy of all who address the council. He did so with a smile and a shaking of the head; he turned then and went back to his seat having satisfied the council’s request.
As I noted earlier, it is a fact of life that the unexpected can pounce upon anyone at anytime; however, it is more than astonishing when I opened the e-mail from the City of Wixom noting the Mike Howell, Director of the DPW had passed away just hours after leaving that council meeting.
I did not know Mike on a personal basis, but professionally; he was a professional. He too will certainly be missed.
My astonishment is that Mike has died so very young and my sympathies go out to his family and friends. It too makes me very aware of how tragedy can strike at anytime. It too makes me very aware to ensure that when I see or talk to someone, that I have to acknowledge that this meeting is a fleeting moment in time and to promise myself to really see the person and take advantage of that personal moment.
I will remember this moment at the Council meeting and the smile of Mike when he walked away from the podium. I too remember watching him as he walked down the hallway leaving the council meeting after adjournment.
I will remember this moment, but never would I have ever believed that this moment in time would be the last time that I would ever see Mike. It is too unimaginable, too surreal for believed.
The unexpected should not have happened to such a young man who had a full life ahead of him. In his absence there is a sorrow that facts and death are more than troublesome; now and then they are astonishingly absurd.
Now is one of those times. For me and others, I am certain that it is a time when Christmas almost seems to have little relevance.
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