It’s funny how we meet so many people throughout our lives; people who stick around for the long haul and people who simply brush our shoulders in fleeting moments on the street. People come and people go, but there are certain people who touch our lives in ways that some of us would have never thought possible; ways that truly make us think about who we are and how we interact and connect with the world around us.
Today, with a motley group of friends from the last few years, I said goodbye to a former coworker and friend who touched my life by simply being in it, a man who shared an infectious positive outlook on life without ever really realizing how great of an influence he actually had. Today I said goodbye to someone who, as our friend Mandi said, ‘lived life on his own terms’ in even the smallest of ways no matter the consequences. He was proud of who he was and did everything he could to make the lives of those around him more bearable with joy and laughter that reflected the very heart of who he was as a person.
Michael Eugene Mokrzecki wasn’t a man who accomplished great things or left a lasting impression on the world as a whole, but he was a man who affected those around him in such a subtle way that few, if any of us, realized how deeply he had affected us until we were met with our loss of him; none us realized until he was gone that our lives were forever changed in even the smallest of ways by a man who did nothing more than bring smiles to the faces of those who needed it more than he could have imagined.
Today I said goodbye to someone who seemingly had very little when in reality he had so much to give: happiness, more sass than you could imagine, and an unparalleled drive to do his small part in such a big and sometimes unwelcoming world. Today I said goodbye to a friend, someone who in the last five years has shown me that the little things in life – the fleeting smiles and passing laughter – are truly the moments that matter, the moments that we should cherish.
Rest Well, Michael “Falcon” Mokrzecki and thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for making me feel welcomed when I moved to Amherst. Thank you for being you and showing me that it’s perfectly ok to be me. Don’t doubt for a second that you’ll be missed because I know with certainty that I’ll miss you.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry