I miss you, Mike
Michael VanBeaclre: his name will always be
remembered. He holds that special place in my heart that
I go to nearly every day to visit and say hello to my
friend. It seems like April 16, 2002 was just yesterday.
I remember it almost perfectly; it was Mikes birthday and
I spent my time as usual that day, only to come home and find I
would never see Mike again.
My phone rang at about 11:30 that night from my best friend
Ashley. I was excited to talk to her since it had been a
few days since we had actually had a nice talk. I picked up
the phone and found that she was crying hysterically. I
had just figured she was upset about her boyfriend again, so I
wasnt too worried at this point. When I finally
calmed her down enough to speak, her soft voice cracked as she
asked me, Did you hear what happened to Mike?
Immediately my heart dropped to my stomach, my hands became cold
and clammy. I quickly muttered, NO, what?
And before I could even begin to think what she might say, she
busted out in tears again and cried, Hes dead!
Somehow between the time she said that to the time I could
respond, I found myself falling to the floor of my room with
tears welded up in my eyes. My heart was racing, but yet it
felt like it was being pulled from my chest at the same
time. My face went pale and my arms started to
tremble. My mind began to ache as I tried to think of
what happened and why.
Ashley went on to explain that Mike wanted to test drive
motorcycle. Its weird because I can even remember
Mike asking Tyler just last weekend if he could take the bike for
a spin. Tyler would always tell him no because he didnt
have the proper license or knowledge to drive. But, being
that it was Mikes birthday, Tyler let him take it for a
ride. He had promised Tyler to only take it down the block,
but thats all it took for something tragic to happen.
Mike and I grew up together attending the same grade school,
middle school and high school. He was a bully to the girls
in grade school, but he always had a sense of humor that made all
the girls laugh anyways. Plus, he was one of the cutest guys in
our school. One trait Mike had that will never be forgotten
is his smile. He had a big smile with big white teeth
that he always showed. I cant remember him ever
frowning about anything.
We grew apart in middle school and in high school, but just
weeks before his death, something changed. Mike and I shared a
lot of the same friends during our senior year and just the past
weekend before he died, we spent our whole weekend hanging out
with a big group of us. It was just a blessing that I
shared one last weekend with Mike before he passed away. It
was great talking to him and being friends all over again.
Although it was a short time to rekindle our friendship, it was
long enough for Mike to leave an
impression on my heart.
My senior year was never the same after his death.
Every time I went to English class, his seat was empty and there
was an absence of laughter. We lost conference in tennis
because Mike was our number one player and the team struggled to
overcome his death. However, most of all, the senior
class just missed a good friend who was supposed to graduate
with us in less than a month.
Finally the day came where we had to say goodbye to Mike, it
was his funeral. I walked in the large church to find every
pew full and every eye filled with tears. I looked up
towards the ceiling to find a slide show of Mikes life. It
killed me to see all those pictures knowing his life was
over. The funeral started and his mom, his brother, his
tennis team, and his clan of best friends all stood
before us telling all the funny stories and memories about Mike
and his life. He planned to join the Marines after he
graduated and his recruiting officer and friends came dressed in
full uniform to honor Mikes decision and say farewell to a
good friend and a good Marine he would have become.
I will never forget Mike and the lesson he taught each of
us. We learned the value of friendship, humor and most of
all, life. He showed us to take life and make the best of
it and to always keep your head high and never give up. He
showed us to go for our dreams and always remember to laugh once
in a while because life tries to pull you down and its up
to you to keep on going even when it gets rough. Mike was a
friend, a Marine, and someone I will always look up to and admire
forever. Michael VanBeaclres name will always hold
that spot in my heart and he will never be forgotten.