THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

loss and gain


Sorry about the absence, been dealing with a loss in the family. Still very busy but had to get a few thoughts out. One thing I thought was interesting is what this person meant to each individual and how different it was for each in some special way. For some, it’s an interest in their hobbies, for others’ interest in their work/profession. Some were interested in books and their meanings or some enjoyed the debating be it political or philosophical. Or your favorite sports team and how they were doing or where you had a good meal. He always seemed that he followed your interest in some way when he spoke to you because he always invested some time learning about it.

Dad loved the beach. Photo by Mike Hartley

But to all, he was many things at the same time. Someone who put family first. A person who knows that involves a lot of self-sacrifices and did it happily. He made each individual feel loved and appreciated. He would always be there for you.

He was a positive force because he was an optimist. It seems there was a bright light somewhere for him to see and grasp, that others couldn’t at times. And he’d share it. And that would result in courage being developed in others.

He was there for others who were on the receiving end of the charity work he did. There are those who acted on advice and insights he might have offered on anything from investing to body surfing.

When he chooses to do something he was complete. I remember him running and training for distance at an age where most of the guys have hung up the cleats long ago. He would look so focused when he ran but I can also see his mind working about a hundred things at the same time.

He could communicate without saying a word. The expression and feeling and tear he might have holding a grandchild for the first time. The smile and hug at any graduation. And you know the discussion of your future professional life was soon to follow. The warm words he would bring to an anniversary, wedding, birthday, or holiday.

Someone setting an example of respecting all people. Be they the garbage men or public servants or the waitress who’s had a tough day. I think he also had the ability to hon in on who might be troubled and try to get to them.

He set the bar very high in the number of years married. To One Woman. I would love to watch them at weddings. Boy, would they be in their glory! For one it gave him an opportunity at doing a speech. And it would usually showcase another talent of writing. A speech is only as good as the words used in it. You can have a great presentation but if you don’t have the substance then most won’t be impacted. And you could tell that people were listening to his words.

Speaking of listening he was pretty good at that. It’s kind of a lost art in some cases. He believed it a strength. On top of that, he would listen carefully trying to get your real meaning. Because believe it or not some people struggle trying to communicate what they really mean. For instance myself.

I’ll remember the smile. He always seemed so glad to meet everyone at the door or coming into someone else’s home. Always a hand out first and firm shake. And then, how are you or so good to see you. He was also a master at making the rounds and touching base with everyone in the room no matter what size.

I knew my own dad for less than a decade. But I knew this dad for over 4 decades. It was an honor, it was a joy, it was a privilege, it was fun, it was rewarding, it was a learning experience, it was a warm time, it was a wonderful gift you gave me at the alter with your daughter’s hand, it was a long time ago but it seems so short.

I’ll try to be a better person because of him. Because I’ll be shooting to emulate a number of his positive qualities. So while his passing is a great loss, his life has been a good example for me and many others.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Feeling some writing inspiration from above.
  • When someone with an optimistic attitude passes, it’s up to all of us to make up for it.
  • I don’t deal well with loss.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

4 thoughts on “loss and gain

  1. Mike, I thoroughly enjoyed your testimony of your Dad in law. I am so glad to hear those wonderful qualities he shared with you. It was if he stepped into the role of Dad for you. We all need a positive male mentor in our lives, to help make us better men. I especially enjoyed how well you wrote about receiving Patty’s hand in marriage. You are very elegant, I believe this man impacted you greater than you realized. He has passed the mantle on to you I believe, even though I do not know the other men in your extended family. But what I do know I doubt there could be any finer. Your testimony in marriage speaks volumes about the kind of man you are.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a person who made such a difference to many others, including you. I am sorry for your loss, but happy at the gifts and memories you hold because of him. 🌷

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