I asked Mike’s mom Nada to please provide me with some information about Mike. While reading the short pieces that I will post here, I couldn’t help but like Mike. As MIKE JUDGE Day is approaching—DECEMBER 12, 2009, I am happy to provide you with a glimpse into this young man’s life and the vivid impression he made on all those around him.
Please remember to join me and many others in sending prayers and thoughts of love out to Mike on December 12, 2009—the anniversary day of his passing. Thanking you all in advance!
Mike and I knew each other since fifth grade, so I have quite a few memories to think of, but one thing that I believe could relate to many stories was Mike’s ability to make people laugh. He never cared what people thought of him, he lived his life, and he made sure that those around him enjoyed life just as much as he did.
It was our junior year in high school, and I think Mike had already made up his mind that he wasn’t going to come out for the football team our senior year. I think what I and the rest of the underclassmen loved about Mike, was that he never complained about having to come to practice, he just did what he was told and had fun with it. Even when the coaches would get mad at him, he always found a way to take their anger and set it aside.
I remember he was caught talking once during a demo set. Well, instead of making Mike run after practice, Coach decided to punish him in another way. He had Mike run the ball with the demo-offense vrs. the 1st string defense. I remember the coach telling the defense that exact play just so Mike could get smacked when he ran the ball. I remember all of us standing there and as soon as Mike got the ball, he made a move on the first defender and ran the length of the field for a touchdown.
Now, of course the defense, which was primarily seniors, was upset, but all the underclassmen were loving it. And, of course Mike had a few select words for the defense as he did his celebration. Because of this celebration, the next play was the exact same play, and this time Mike did not have the opportunity to do his celebration. Mike was hit the hardest as I have ever seen someone hit before in a practice demo. His helmet came off and Mike laid there. I asked him if he was all right and I remember lying on the ground, laughing as Mike said, “They still can’t hold me.” I don’t think I have ever laughed so much during practice.
Before this past Thanksgiving I barely knew Mike. After a few days where we hung out at the Bailey’s place for Thanksgiving, I instantly became his little Asian side kick. He would always make me laugh with his sarcasm and wittines. I remember during dinner, Mike made the whole room laugh and smile. Both Shannon and Tricia had their boyfriends over and then there was Mike and Brian. Mike, of course, blurted out the comment, “Where’s your special someone Brian? He then gave him a seductive look and told him he would be his special someone. Everyone started laughing and from that point on, Mike just kept the jokes going—typical of Mike.
After reading all the posts about Mike, I find it fitting that every person has touched on Mike’s humor and ability to make people laugh. It’s truly hard to find people with the qualities that Mike possessed. He instilled a sense of joy and happiness with everyone that he met. I will always remember the time I spent with Mike. It’s hard to find such genuine people. I think he really left a lasting impression through all the unique memories he left with each of us.
We were in the locker room and Mike saw me changing, exposing my legs. Only Mike could whip a comment like this so quickly, “Man”, he said, “Those look like two big xmas hams!” The team called me ham bone after that. He was so witty.
I never forget, after cooking him a big meal, he looked at me and I was expecting a comment such as “This is great”, or even a single, “Thanks”. He just said, after his first bite, “you’re so fat”. We both laughed so hard. Mike always made me laugh. Brought more joy to my life than anyone I have ever met.
I remember when Mike and I were playing basketball outside my house with a bunch of the U of D guys. He just couldn’t miss a shot, he was on fire and after every shot, before he could even open his mouth, everyone stated laughing. We were all ready to laugh at whatever comment he had, because we knew it would be funny.
One time I was watching TV in your living room with Mike. We were watching some show and thewhole time Mike was egging me and trying to trick me into saying something embarrassing. After an hour I found Mike’s cell phone on record, next to my head.
I don’t know if you remember me very well but I was good friends with Mike through the years. Ienrolled at U of D in 7th grade and found it difficult to meet people and be accepted. When Mike came to school we immediately became close friends. Your son didn’t care where you were from, or what you looked like, or how much money you had. He was just a really understanding, down to earth guy. He accepted me and helped me adjust to a new school and new surroundings. At least twice a week I still tell my friends from Loyola stories about Mike and how much fun and how funny he was. They have never met him but by now feel as if they have known him for years. Mike truly blessed a lot of people, and more importantly, left a strong positive legacy that I for one will never, ever forget.’
I wish I would have written sooner but I found it very difficult to address the subject. There are few people in the world who meant more to me than your son. I am lucky to have known him.
WHAT A GREAT KID—PLEASE REMEMBER HIM ON DECEMBER 12, 2009
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