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The Unfinished Game

I am of the belief that anyone who goes through a natural disaster should be given at least a one-year reprieve from having to endure more of the hard stuff of life.

Can I hear an amen?

I guess it’s probably a good thing that I’m not in charge because that would involve a lot of people since this has been one heck of a year for many of us – what with Hurricane Michael in October, the fires in California a few months later, and the horrific tornado that ripped through Alabama most recently.

Seriously though.

Yesterday evening, my community’s heart was ripped open when we learned of the unexpected passing of a beloved doctor.

Image from WJHG.com

He was also a friend of mine – our lives first intersecting many years ago when the Mr. and I moved our family to Lynn Haven and our families’ daughters played on the same travel soccer team. The girls were the same age and wound up finishing middle and high school together.

I’m so thankful for the evolution of the smartphone. Facebook helped us stay connected after our kiddos went to college. Words with Friends was the main way we communicated, though. I could always count on him to give me a run for my money. Well, okay. If I’m being honest, he usually beat me pretty soundly. I guess you have to be kind of smart to be an OB/GYN.

One of the first things I always do when I get home from school is check on my WWF games, add my own words, and then wait for my friends to take their turns.

Although Mike was a busy doctor, he never left me hanging for long.

Except for yesterday, when I never got a response.

It was a few hours after I played my word when I heard the devastating news.

The accolades immediately began flooding his Facebook page; he was so beloved – so skilled at his specialty – so thorough in his care – so personable – so kind.

I don’t believe that I ever heard him yell a single word at the many, many soccer games we watched together. He was a calm presence on the sidelines, quietly cheering on the girls, seemingly immune to the nerve-wracking close calls we frequently endured.

I’m going to have a bit of a cry when our Words with Friends game times itself out. I refuse to end it prematurely.

Though our game will go unfinished and will eventually clear from my game history, his memory will live on.

Mamas and daddys will remember him as they watch their children grow into toddlers, teenagers, and adults – children he helped bring into the world.

Friends like me will remember close (and not-so-close) word games, gentle smiles, and photos of his recent fishing adventures.

His family will remember sweet times spent together at their large get-togethers. I know that his absence will be difficult in the coming days and months.

Please pray for Mike’s family and our community as, once again, we have been dealt another rough blow.

One Response

  1. I am so sorry!!! That’s just so sad. I couldnt end the game either. Prayers for everyone who knew him & his family!!

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