I know that I've spoken with many of you who will be checking out this site, and that if you know Mike you probably at least know of me. But I'll briefly introduce myself and share what I can to (perhaps?) help some of you understand a little about what is going on.
I'm Mike and Kris's niece in New Mexico, and I lived with them for 6 months last year to help out with Mike's difficulties with pain and exhaustion and give Kris a chance to get back to work. I can't tell the whole story of our adventure, because that would take too long and I'm selfish enough to want to keep some just for me and Mike.
I can say that we explored and played and laughed and cried, and Mike really gave his all to practicing life. He had a few really fun months, with me and Kris and all the New Mexico folk. He had an awesome trip to see his Mom turn 100. But I also saw that every day he struggled with the difficulty of being human and in a condition he couldn't understand; there were days that we would go to the gym and grocery shopping and clean the house. There were days that we never made it past the back porch.
I witnessed, perhaps more clearly because of my own experience with depression, the struggle against chemicals that for whatever reason kept Mike from seeing or enjoying much of the scenery of his life. I'm sad to say that I'm relieved that Mike doesn't have to fight that fight anymore… but sad is okay, too, and relief is okay. But the thing that doesn't feel okay, and I don't know if it will, is that I never get to see him again. That doesn't feel real. So maybe its not.
I'd like to share this video of Mike feeding his Bluebirds: