Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Tribute to Mike

We moved to town in 1980 with a one-year old. Of course, the first thing you do is find a Pediatrician. We had used a large group when we lived in Miami, and I wanted a more personal feel in Gainesville, so a friend and neighbor recommended that we make an appointment with Mike. The moment we walked into his office, I knew we had made the right decision: warm and friendly, but with bright colors and huge murals on the walls.........something pretty new for 1980! (For years, a framed large and colorful piece of K's artwork from preschool hung on his walls!)

My favorite Mike story was when C was off on a trip and K had developed those dreaded ear infections (
both ears, of course). I came down with the crud too, and so was all alone, sick, and trying to care for a sick toddler. It was a Saturday morning and Mike called to check on K and when he heard how sick I was, he immediately called our neighbor and asked her to come and look in on both of us. Not many Docs would do that!

Mike had such a wonderful way with kids! He'd say to little K, who went by the nickname KC back then, "Let me take a look in your ears KC girl. Ahhhhhh, there's a couple of Smurfs in this one! Let me see who's in the other one."

Her baby book is full of little pages with her height and weight progress sheets stuck in there. One even has a hand drawn map on it of where the closest pharmacy was, since we were new in town and I had no idea where anything was!

It turned out that Mike had a little girl who was just a month older than K, and over the years they developed a deep and strong friendship, often inseparable in high school. K loved Mike so much that she wouldn't think of switching to our family Dr when she was old enough. She would even drive to Mike's office for her appointments after she turned 16. He was a special guy!

We got the news yesterday that Mike had lost his battle with cancer. My heart grieves for his family, and I feel like we've lost a wonderful, wonderful friend.

Peace to you, dear friend!


Eva Hagbjärn said...

A wonderful and telling story about a loving and caring person, but a story with a very sad ending.
That's unfortunately how life is sometimes. Sad and cruel.

Kram Eva

Gerrie said...

Memories like this make loved ones live on in our lives.

Carol said...

Beautifully written Judy, and my heart goes out to you and K as well for your loss of a friend. XXOO

Michele said...

My condolences, Judy. What a blessing to have someone like this in your life, and how kind of you to honor him by writing about your wonderful memories.