Today, I come to you in mourning; please allow me this digression from the regularly scheduled T.G.I.M to meditate on the temperance of life.
When my mother arrived home from work she asked if she can speak to me. Whenever she does this, I know the conversation will be heavy.
She proceeded to tell me the story as follows:
When I left from the company, I was replaced by a guy only a few years younger than myself, who went by the name of Michael (I used to work at the engineering company with her that is employee-owned in the Survey’s Department out in the field). She then told me that this guy is Steve’s (a close employee that she works with every day since she bills the jobs that he facilitates the survey crew’s too) oldest’s daughter’s boyfriend.
Steve is a big guy, easily over 6’2″ and easily over 200 pounds, but he has a heart of gold and will cry quickly if the situation evokes those emotions. He has 3 daughters of his own and no boys. She went to describe Michael as a Master-Builder. Someone who could build a car from the ground up who had helped Steve on many occasions with his own truck.
She stated that he was probably seen as a son to Steve since he didn’t have any of his own, since they had worked on their trucks together and since he had frequented family vacations with them as well.
Then she told me that Michael and his older brother who was only 22 had died over the weekend in a freak accident. They were working on a Ford F150 together when the jack that they lifted the truck up on gave way with both of them underneath it. The eldest brother died instantly from head trauma but Michael…
Michael was pronounced dead by suffocation.
I can only imagine being wedged between concrete and a truck that easily ways a ton, calling my brothers name and not to hear a response, and then calling for help but being in a place where there was none around.
My heart is deeply saddened by this, as is my Mother’s. She reminded me…
At the end of the story, she reminded me to never let a day go past without her telling me that she loves me. She held me close and told me that it could’ve been my brother and I and that she couldn’t imagine how the parents feel to have to bury both of their only sons.
This is a memorial for Michael and his brother and a reminder that death may come irrespective of age. I pray, God willing, that his family, Steve’s family and their close friends and loved ones heal as swiftly as possible. I pray, God willing, that they celebrate the lives, despite how the little time they had on this earth, of their sons.
I drink this glass of wine, right now, and I toast to a man and his brother I’ve never known myself, but love as dearly as my extended family loves them, in the Hebrew language of my Jewish family: L’chaim, a toast to life.