Mike Pearson, I will miss you.
You were the first Calvary UMC person to shake my hand, and your gigantic, soft smile was one I came to cherish during our decade plus of time together there.
And not too long after that first meeting, there you were again welcoming me into the back row at choir practice. After that first night, you asked me what I thought and I told you that it was pretty cool and that although I was rusty as an old nail, I'd be back for sure. I got that patented Mike Pearson full face smile and a "Wow, this is gonna be fun." Prophetic, for sure.
Oh the memories. So many songs. Cantatas. More than our share of duets together. That quartet with you, me, Sam Robb and Ron Hartlaub. Cherished memories of mine.
I'm not sure I shared this with you, but I only jumped in as a lay reader because I didn't want you to be the lone wolf there. Man did I struggle with that — I'm still sure I butchered way more of the scripture readings than you did — but it was well worth it mainly because it gave you a break a couple Sundays each month.
Your kind, soft way made me a better dude, Mike. And I'm pretty sure that the pride and love you showed for your Meghan and Nikki tipped the scales for me in deciding to chase the dad thing. Grateful every day for that, by the way. I wish we'd come back to Calvary a few times lately. I think you'd like this 15-year-old version of Ben Gentry. I know he would have been taken with you.
I'll see you again, Mike, if I play my cards right. Have "People Need the Lord" ready, and we'll sing it one more time. And yeah, I'll still be good with the harmony part.
Love you, buddy.