This week has been a rough one, not only for me but for my dear, dear Hartford. The saddest part for me isn't so much what I know that I lost, it's all of the people that don't know- who didn't realize what a champion of Hartford we lost this week... Mayor Mike was much more than a former firefighter; he was much more than a father, a husband, a son, a friend. And he was WAY much more than just any old mayor. Do you all know who is Mayor of your town? How about who was Mayor ten years ago?
See, Mayor Mike... he left a mark on all that knew him, however briefly.
During his eulogy, the Reverend Gary Miller read something that really hit home with me. It went along the lines of how it all came down to one basic question in your life:
How well did you love?
Many of you that know me, and even those of you that only read this blog probably know that I love HARD- I love FIERCE- and if you wrong someone I love, you better RUN! :) But really, just when I think my heart is full, and that I have no more room for anyone else, I find new people who move me and make their mark on me, and basically just push their way into my big old heart... not that they need to push too hard because I am standing there with arms open, and some air traffic controller mo fo's waving people in...funny, but true.
So reflect on that one question, and see how you fare.
Here are some shots from my day on Thursday..
Outside of the church a fire truck waved the flag high, and there were many, many police officers and firefighters there to show their respect for Mayor Mike. It was an incredible sight to see
The procession passed by Mayor Mike's former firehouse, Engine Company 15 by Trinity College.
This woman had everyone in tears with her sign that says 'we love you mayor mike' as she stood there and waved to everyone that passed, in the cold. What a powerful show of love and respect
The mounted police stood at attention at the entrance to Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford. Mayor Mike is right near my Mom, so I got to wave to her as we drove by.
A firefighter smiles to himself, probably remembering laughs and better times he had with Mayor Mike. I stood there paying my respects with this man- we both have such different memories, but I know they were full of laughs
Seeing my image on the marquee of the XL center was bittersweet- Here is a happier time, when Mike was the JP for his daughter's wedding a few summers back.
Here are two of my oldest, dearest friends who are going to be so mad I put this on here. But TOO BAD! :) We have known each other since 5th grade- and seen each other through good times and hard times and still managed to laugh the whole time...I love you guys!
A friend who went to college with Chris, Mayor Mike's son, shares a typical Mayor Mike story, complete with hilarious punch line
Here Mayor Mike's wife Jeannette prepares to take a bow after dancing to Mike's favorite song, Rockin' Robin, at the end of his memorial luncheon...it was so incredible to see, and so sad to see. She is such a wonderful woman, and she was the love of his life
I loved Bob Englehart's editorial cartoon honoring Mayor Mike
One of the best little touches they had at the luncheon were these buttons that we wore when he ran for Mayor. Kristin Ferris ran the event, she was incredible and so was her staff
This napkin was posted by the bar in Mike's restaurant- it reads: 'Live a good life- it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years. A-Lincoln Well done Mike, and thanks'
Amy and Jocelyn, two of Bethany's close friends from PC came to town to pay their respects from Providence. I've known these two hooligans for a long, long time and I am a better person for it!
After the luncheon everyone headed over to Mayor Mike's to celebrate his life and share more stories. When the newscast came on showing clips from the funeral and interviews from the day you could have heard a pin drop it was so quiet...but I wouldn't have chosen to be anywhere else than surrounded by so many friends and family that loved and shared in such an amazing man's journey through all of our lives...
Thank you Mayor Mike for always making me feel special, for laughing at my jokes, and letting me into your family. Thank you for being one of my strongest supporters in my work and life... and thank you mostly for showing people what it is to love Hartford.