Over the weekend Charlie and I returned toChicago to visit his family, attend to some business and to say goodbyeto one of Charlie's best friends, Mitchy. Mitchy died quiteunexpectedly, yet expectedly, about a week and a half ago. I never methim, yet at his memorial service, I found myself touched beyond words.( I'd have bawled if it wouldn't have embarassed Charlie.)
Mitchyhad been the bouncer and bartender at a neighborhood bar for whatsounded like eons. What I gather from hearing about him was that hewas a gentle spirit at heart, but a" larger-than-life" man. I giggledat the stories people told about just how large he was, (@6.6" and over300 pounds), and how his hands were so enormous that he could literallypick someone up by the head with the palm of his hands. (Apparently hedid that to Charlie at one point in his life! How funny!) He wasfair, was able to keep order without making too many enemies and didn'tseem to seek out trouble... but if trouble came, Mitchy always camethrough. The one thing I heard repeatedly was, "Mitchy always had myback".
I heard a lot of people saying that Mitchy didn't havemuch in the way of possessions or drive to suceed in life. He had atiny apartment, family he adored, and judging by the number of peopleat his memorial, tons of friends from all walks, professions and placesin life. Charlie joked that it was funny to see there were pews fullof cops, gangsters, family and simply friends, all gathered in oneplace without fighting. Each had appeared to pay respects to a man whohad touched him/her in some form or fashion. What a testimony.
Apparentlythe Priest hadn't known Mitchy so he'd asked Mitchy's daughter what heshould say about him. Overcome with emotion, she could only say thatMitchy was a good guy, a friend to many and that he always hadeveryone's back.
I heard the side stories about this man andheard a few remarking how sad it was that he didn't have much of a lifeand I thought to myself, "Well. I certainly hope that one day I have afuneral as grand as this is. Apparently Mitchy DID have a hugelife.". Every single person there was there because he'd touchedtheir hearts and believe me, it was a huge old church and the pews werefull.
Every person present; notorious criminal, successfulbusiness owner, friend, family, acquaintance or whatever...was therefor one reason. They either loved this man or respected him. Inshort, he did what we are all put here to do: his heart had touchedtheirs in one form or fashion and it was beautiful.
They weren'tthere because he'd made them a gazillion dollars in the stock market orbecause they thought they were part of his will or because it would"look good" for them to be present. They were there for ONE reason andone reason only...Mitchy showed them love. Isn't this what we are supposed to do in life?
Istill get a lump in my throat when I think about it. His entire lifewas about being in the service of others. Yes, he was just abouncer/bartender in a bar and in later life, he was just a friend, butwho cares. Every single person who knew him is still thinking abouthim and talking about what effect he had on their lives. (Here is ONEperson who NEVER knew him and I've chosen to dedicate an entire blogabout him.)
He did something right.
Charlie and Italked about all of it at length. Mitchy wasn't an alter boy by anystretch of imagination, but what he WAS, was a true and loyal friend. He had the gift of being able to touch people, as was evident at hismemorial.
What I came away with is what I'm always talkingabout. The only thing we take with us when we leave this place is thelove we have given to one another and the love we receive in return. The giving is the most important part.
Charliehas said on more than one occasion that in later life, Mitchy keptapologizing to him. Apparently Mitchy felt that he wasn't "enough".
I beg to differ.
Itabsolutely makes no difference in the world whether we have a lot or alittle in life. What matters is what affect we have on others. Whatmatters, is what's inside our hearts that we choose to let out.
Asan outsider looking in, I'm here to say that Mitchy K. was anoutstanding human being and I know beyond a doubt that he was met onthe other side by a host of angels, loved ones and others all gatheredto tell him- his life was absolutely not in vain. To the contrary; hedid what he set out to do. He lived his life the best and only way heknew how and he managed to touch a gazillion people.
Thatchurch was packed. How many other people stayed away because theycouldn't get there or because they just don't do funerals?
He loved and he was loved and I feel so Blessed to have been able to be there to witness a little bit.
Life is about love.
Soif you are like me, lamenting what you have before you and what youhave behind you...just stop it. Make today the day you begin again tobe courteous and kind, to turn the other cheek, and to show the peoplein your life that you value and love them.
So many of you dothis for me daily. God Bless each of you. I have SOOO many more goodstories about this trip...I can't wait to share more!
Blessings and absolute love!
PS...here are your cards for today ( I love my card junkies!)
Card Meaning: The angels guide you to immerse yourself in beautifulmusic. Music lifts your spirit above Earthbound concerns and elevatesyour thoughts to Divine love.
You have angels with you who wantto help you through the healing properties of music. By drawing thiscard, the angels ask you to add more music into your life. They guideyou to play soft background music while you dress, work, and play. Theyalso ask you to whistle and sing often.
You may also havedrawn this card because of your own musical gifts. Have you felt guidedlately to compose a song, participate in a musical play, join a singinggroup or band, or play an instrument? These inner nudges may be comingfrom your angels, who can see your God-given gifts. They know that yourmusical talents will help others. So, they ask you to be an Earth angelby expressing your gift of song and melody.
Card Meaning: Good news! Cause for celebration is here, and it is time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
The angels want you to know that this is a light-filled time in yourlife. You have been working toward making changes, and your intentionshave now manifested into form. This is the time for you to fill yourheart with a warm feeling of gratitude.
The angels ask you,through this card, to hold strong in this gratitude. You are like agardener who plants seeds and nurtures them because she has faith thather labor will yield new growth. Keep watering and tending to yourseeds, and you will soon see them sprouting through the surface. Theangels are your co-gardeners, who help you tend to your crop.
Card Meaning: A clean slate is presented to you as you now encounter fresh opportunities and novel experiences.
Embrace the new in your life, including new opportunities, people, andprojects. The angels know that change can be frightening, and theysurround you now with loving energy. Call upon them whenever you feelafraid of facing novel situations. They will boost your confidence andenergy so that you can enjoy your new beginnings.
Sometimes wecling to old routines because they are familiar. By drawing this card,the angels ask you to be open to new approaches to life. Perhaps theywill teach you a new way of looking at situations. Or maybe they willcall on you to learn a new skill. Whatever the new beginning is foryou, allow yourself to be stretched by the fresh circumstances. Welearn about ourselves through new experiences.