Yesterday, I learned that an old friend died far too young. I met Mike Malsbury through the First Unitarian Church Young Adult Group sometime in 2002 or 2003. He had recently moved to Philly and like so many of us, was looking for friendship. The first time I met him, he met up with the group of us at a happy hour at the long-since-departed Independence Brew Pub. He was wearing a vintage leather jacket and was so relieved when he finally tracked down our table in that cavernous space. Soon after, he was just one of the group.
When I knew him best, Mike was still working out where he fit in the world. He hadn’t quite grown out of that gawky phase that so many guys have in high school and so struggled to connect. And yet, he was so sweet, so generous, so smart and so quietly funny. He was always willing to help someone move or paint a room. He rode the unicycle. He had depth.
About a year ago, after not seeing one another for a while, we reconnected over Facebook. There was talk of getting together for lunch or dinner, but after five or six back and forths, I didn’t hear from him. And in my busy-ness, I let it go. I didn’t realize that would be it.
Mike, wherever you are now, know absolutely that you were loved and valued by your friends. You will be missed and you will be remembered.