Good Bye Mike!

By
Real Estate Agent with Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities #1 in Forest Land Mgmt

Good Bye Mike!

Mike was one of my first friends in the Brey family, other than the girl who would later become my bride.

When I first met Mike, he was taking a break from college so when I would go to Sally’s parents on weekends he was generally there.

Though Mike was 3 years older than I, he was about as far along as I in college since he had taken many medical breaks from school due to a rare disease that he had, known as Fabrys.

A disease that was gradually killing off most of  Mike’s uncles, and would later affect many of his nephews including our son Josh.

And even after I graduated, he continued to struggle along with attempt after attempt with many cut short by a mid to late semester stroke.

Mike was a very popular guy with a great sense of humor, and a love of dancing which made him very popular with the girls.

I still remember him dressed up and surrounded by a dozen girls at our wedding dance.

After college we moved out west for a few years where we would get frequent reports from home, many about Mikey’s condition, and eventually he was no longer able to pursue his accounting degree.

By the time we got back to Wisconsin, Mike was looking very crippled and working a job along with mentally handicapped people where he felt very insulted, since most of his difficulty was with motor skills like walking and talking, and the rest of his thinking skills were still intact.

By the time our children were old enough to notice; Uncle Mikey was in pretty rough shape, walking with a walker, talking with an extreme slur, and displaying a lot of pain.

When they were young the kids were a little fearful and I remember once Josh mentioning that he hoped that none of the rest of us caught what Uncle Mikey had.

Later we would remember those words when Josh was diagnosed with this dreaded disease and it took us months to find the right time to break the news to him.

Fortunately by the time Josh would get to college there was a treatment coming onto the market, a treatment that we helped to research during his high school years with many trips to Mt Sinai in NYC.

Unfortunately the treatment was too late for Mikey, by the time it was developed, he was moving between his parents’ home, an assisted living center, and a nursing home.

The treatment did stabilize him however and he has not gotten appreciatively worse, just lingering along for the past decade.

We had a big party for him on his 40th since he was not expected to live this long, and he did outlive his mother who passed away 2 years ago.

I sat next to Mike at the funeral and I could feel his apprehension, not knowing what was to happen to him without his mother to look out for him.

Fortunately my sister in law Kutzy, who lives near him took over as his protector and poa, and has done a great job of watching over him and helping him when needed.

This past week Kutzy called to let us know that Mike was in the hospital with pneumonia, a heart attack and a blood clot in his leg.

The doctors did not think that he would survive treatment of the heart blockage or the blood clot, so they treated the pneumonia and sent him to a hospice facility.

Fortunately Sally, Josh and Amy had a chance to spend several afternoons with him, feeding him Easter candy and sharing stories and jokes, his mind was still sharp to the end.

Nick and I did not make it back in time, we got the news this morning at 6am, while napping at a truckstop in Minong, he had died in his sleep a few minutes earlier.

I spent a bit of time on the phone with Sally today as I traveled toward home, accomplishing a few projects along the way, and she seems very sad and yet happy for Mike, knowing that his suffering is over and he is likely in a much better place and in better shape now.

Good Bye Mike, know that you are loved and will be missed!

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  1. Sally Crane 08/29/2015 10:42 AM
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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Bob. I'm sorry to hear that you have lost your friend Mike.

Mar 29, 2015 06:41 PM #1
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Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Bob. Tough story, thank you for sharing it. Life isn't always fair, but one thing I have learned over the years, the greatest gift you can give someone that has passed, is to remember them, as you have with Mike.

Make it a great week!

Mar 29, 2015 09:09 PM #2
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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I'm sorry to hear about Mike; it sounds as though he was blessed to be surrounded by a loving family.  This was a wonderful tribute to his life.

Mar 29, 2015 09:12 PM #3
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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I am so so sorry - genetic diseases are so difficult to deal with- physically and emotionally when you know that you were dealt a bad set of genes from the beginning. It sounds like Mike carried himself with grace and you were lucky to count him as a friend.

Mar 29, 2015 09:12 PM #4
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a very nice tribute for Mike. It is obvious that he was loved very much.

Mar 29, 2015 10:08 PM #5
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Bob and I am so very very sorry for your loss. There are no words but your moved me a lot.

Mar 30, 2015 12:33 AM #6
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Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Bob, So sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. May he rest in peace.

And I'm glad to hear that yor son won't suffer the same fate as his uncle.

And please give my condolences to Sally..

Bill  Roberts

Mar 30, 2015 12:50 AM #7
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Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
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Bob, thanks for sharing your feelings with us in a rough moment. This is that hard thing about growing older we see people we know fading away.

Mar 30, 2015 12:53 AM #8
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William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

A loss of a friend or relative, even one whom has been ill, is not always easy.  Keep the memories alive.

Mar 30, 2015 12:55 AM #9
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Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Good morning Bob. What a tough hand to be dealt but by the sounds of things he handled it with grit and tenacity. This is a great tribute to Mike. 

Mar 30, 2015 01:16 AM #10
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Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Sounds like he was great man and I know he will be missed by all.  What a nice write up you did for him, I can tell that you and your family loved him very much!

Mar 30, 2015 01:24 AM #11
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Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Bob, It's always tough for anyone to lose a close friend or family member. I know you and Mike were very close, and I know he'll be truly missed.

Mar 30, 2015 08:27 AM #12
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Bette Gottwald
UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bet"on Central PA Real Estate!

Bob, I sending my sympathies to both you and Sally.  Life sometimes seems so unfair.  I hope good memories of Mike  (as in the photos you've shared) can help ease the pain of this loss.

Mar 30, 2015 10:02 AM #13
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I haven't heard of the disease, Fabry. Sorry this post was about Mike's passing. I prayed for him and the family.

 

Mar 30, 2015 12:23 PM #14
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Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

I also am not aware of this disease, and was so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend Mike

Mar 30, 2015 12:44 PM #15
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Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Heartbreaking; while it sounds so empty, you do make Mike sound like he enjoyed life, and may yet have gotten and shown more in the 40 than many do in double the time.

Prayers to yours & his family.

Apr 03, 2015 02:19 PM #16
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Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Bob, what a loving tribute to Mike. I was not familiar with Fabrys before reading this post. My thoughts and prayers are with your families and all who knew this special man. 

Apr 03, 2015 05:03 PM #17
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Sorry I missed this last spring.  Oddly enough today I'm thinking of someone I loved and lost on this day 6 years ago.  Mike sounds like a wonderful person with a good spirit and a will to be all he could be.  I know he'll be with your family in memory and spirit forever.

Aug 29, 2015 12:26 PM #18
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