We Miss You, Michael

Wishing all the fathers a Happy Father's Day.

Craig James | June 16, 2021

I’ve wanted to write this one for a long time, but finding the words is just flat hard. I’ll just come out and say it. Man, I miss Michael.

It’s funny to say that now. As I’m typing these words I can remember a time when we didn’t care for each other in the slightest, but sometimes that’s just how it is when you start dating a man’s daughter. Looking back at who I was as a person back in those days and how I lived my life, it’s a wonder he ever gave me a chance in the first place.

But thank God he did.

Michael and I gradually became friends as years went by, and he had a love for fishing like myself. We could talk for hours about the subject. I always hung on every story he told. Most were about fishing trips with his brothers and times spent fishing with my wife. I’m confident she was his favorite fishing partner of all time. When he told stories, there was always the perfect mixture of fact, fiction and plenty of comedy.

Man, I miss that.

Michael was an old-school river fisherman. No fancy boat, no high-tech electronics, just thousands upon thousands of hours of hard-earned experience on the water. He’d always catch a cooler full. He was and will always be the best river fisherman I’ll know.

I know where Michael is today. There is no doubt he loved the Lord, but it sure wouldn’t hurt if I could pick up the phone and listen to one more story or another funny joke. I’d give anything for my kids to be able to load up and go fishing with their Papa on a summer Saturday morning. But, that just wasn’t in the Lord’s greater plan.

I remember when I first started writing for GON, no one in the world was prouder of me than Michael. He’d read every story I’d write a dozen times until he practically had it memorized. Sitting here typing this now, I’d give anything for him to be able to read this one, to know just how much Brandy, myself and the kids miss him.

I’m not sure if a GON story can get delivered on the streets of Heaven, but if nothing else, maybe God will let you know.

We miss you, Michael.

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