His son Carson reached out and put his hand on his Dads shoulder, You're still here Dad, he said with emotion.
This week Michael shared more about his life as he sat at the kitchen table in his Morrisonville home. His faithful companion Libby, a golden retriever, stayed near his side. Angels, hearts and a plaque adorned the wall behind the table. Printed on the plaque were the words, A rich man is one who when his pockets are empty and his children fill his arms.
It was my parents hard work that kept me alive in the early years. Now what keeps me going is living for my wife and my kids. My wife is a gem that God sent me, he said.
Michaels wife Terri was fearful about marrying him because of his short life expectancy. She hoped that they would have at least five years. On May 30 they celebrated their 25th anniversary. What does Terri appreciate most about her husband?
His strength. His awesome will to live. His love of life - appreciating the things so many of us take for granted. I wish he knew how much he has inspired me and so many others. I'm so very blessed to have this man as my husband and my very best friend. Our love was truly meant to be, she said.
Yes, Michael loves life and makes the most of his days. Michaels lung transplant allowed him to do many things he hadn't been able to do for years. After my lung transplant the doctors warned me to take it easy, he said. But I felt so great that Terri and I climbed Hurricane Mountain with the kids while I still had my picc line I.V. in. Many more hikes followed, as did five years of playing co-ed ice hockey on the same team with his wife. Michael also had the energy to help coach his kids youth sports teams. He enjoys downhill skiing, boating and camping with his family and attending every one of his children's events.