When I was a little girl, probably about 12ish maybe give or take, I remember getting the biggest pumpkin I'd ever seen in my whole life. It was around halloween time and there was a knock at the door. It was Miss Penny and Mr. Mike- and on our porch was a pumpkin the size of one of those huge excercise balls. It was amazing.
And I remember thinking at the time that they had the chance to keep that thing all for themselves, but they gave it to us. Of course now I know that the glory of a pumpkin that awesome would have been lost on the porch of a home without little kids- but at the time I thought they had given us their entire lottery winnings.
Mr. Mike and Miss Penny have always been a part of our family. I do remember when they were married, but I swear I don't ever remember a time that he wasn't a part of their home. Probably because I'm the baby- but they have been married for over 20 years so I suppose I wouldn't remember much of a time without him.
Miss Penny and mom are best of friends. And Mr. Mike and my dad were too. I remember when my dad died- I wondered how his friends, his two closest friends, felt. Mr. Jerry Wayne and Mr. Mike, they were his closest friends. Jerry died within a couple years of Dad. And now Mr. Mike has gone too. Today we will gather to lay his body to rest, seems appropriate that it's a little dreary outside.
Mr. Mike was a wise guy- always cracking little jokes or making light of a situation. Always. He was joyful, happy and just basically pleasant. I'm not sure the man would have ever met a single person he wouldn't have sat down next to and just chatted. And (just like my dad) he had this curved little smile lip thing and a bit of a twinkle to his eye right when he would deliver a funny part of a story or whatnot. He was deeply faithful, an inspiration to all who knew him. He was also a good husband to Miss Penny- she so deserved a good man like Mr. Mike, and I am thankful that the Lord led them together. Probably a better husband than most because he had like NINE sisters- and I imagine they beat the nasty boy traits right out of him : )
He struggled with that nasty beast cancer for the last two years of his life- but he did it with such a grace that you couldn't help but to feel at peace with everything that was happening. I guess that is what happens when the love of the Lord truly lives inside of you- you behave like Mr. Mike did.
His last words to me were that anyone who brings Tuna Casserole to his wake has to eat it. I'm thinking I'm might just have to find a recipe in his honor.
If you feel so inclined, please lift Miss Penny and all of Mr. Mikes family up in prayer. It's gonna be mighty hard to get used to living in a world without that man in it.