Tuesday, August 7, 2012

100 People to Meet Before You Die

Michael Patrick Gordon

Today I want to talk about Mike. Here’s the earliest picture I have of him. You may have seen this one before. I posted it on Mike’s birthday last February. That’s me holding him. He was my Godson.

Me & Mike 1974

All of his life he only wanted to be two things, an Army guy and a police officer. Michael made that happen on both counts. He was the youngest of my best friend’s three sons. His brothers teased him and picked on him in a good natured manner, the way brothers do, but not for long. Mike grew to be about 6’4” (the tallest in his family) and he didn’t take no stuff from nobody, no how. While in the Army he served in Bosnia and the DMZ between North and South Korea. To the terror of his mother and me, he learned to jump out of airplanes. When he was discharged from the military he began working on a career in law enforcement.

He had a tender side also. When he worked the 4 – 11 shift, he would often get off and go to the bar with his buddies. Then somewhere around 2 am he would call me up and tell me how much he loved me. I always asked him if he called his mother first. It got to be a joke, when he would say, ‘Barb, now you know I called Ma first, but…’ My family after hearing the phone would shout from their rooms, ‘is that Mike?’ I always appreciated his calls no matter the time. He had three children. The oldest Malik was not his biological son, but Mike never ever referred to him that way.  Cullen, the middle boy, is the spitting image of his dad in more ways than one. Gracie only had a short time with her Daddy, and didn’t really get to know what a great guy he was.

Mike & Malik

Mike & Cullen

Mike & Gracie

On August 8, 2004, Michael Patrick Gordon ended his watch, while in the line of duty, he was called home. The city of Chicago gave Mike a hero’s funeral. It was like something out of the movies, unfortunately for me and the rest of his family is was a horror show.

At the wake people were lined up out the door and around the block to pay their respects. People from all walks of life showed up to tell his parents, brothers, and wife, what a great guy he was. Many of these folks were homeless people, who lived on the mean streets in the rough neighbors where Mike worked. Law enforcement from all over the state came to the wake and lined the streets with their patrol cars the day of the funeral.

I don’t think Mike thought of himself as a hero. He was just another guy living out his dreams. He only got 30 years on the earth, but he made every one of them count.

After his passing Mike contacted me on more than one occasion. One time in broad daylight at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, he came walking down the midway, paused in front of me and asked if I was doing alright. I nodded my head, and he walked on and disappeared into the crowd. Rick was standing beside me, he shook my arm and asked; ‘Was that Mike?’ So, I know I didn’t imagine it.

I love you Mike. It broke my heart that you left us so soon. I’ll miss you until we meet again.

Michael Patrick Gordon
February 20, 1974 - August 8, 2004

Photos courtesy of Mike's dad, Bob Gordon. 'Thanks Bob!'


  1. Too bad something like that had to happen on what should otherwise be thought of as a good day.

    Hey, that couldn't have been Mike you saw at the State Fair because, don'tcha know, the dead "sleep"; they don't know nuttin'!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  2. Sad for you. It sounds very much like you miss him. My condolences.

  3. If he made every moment count and touched a lot of lives, then he was indeed a hero.

  4. what a beautiful life and person--i am happy you still feel him <3

  5. What a moving and touching story. That he reached out to you after his death and that both you and Rick saw him is truly wonderful.

  6. Faraway-This was a beautiful, well written tribute to this amazing young man. And, from the bottom of my heart, I'm so truly sorry for your loss.

    Losing someone like that, is a fear that plagues a wife (like me) and the family/friends of a law enforcement officer, every time they go out the door. It drives me insane if I think about it too much- so I try not to. But the thought is never far, it always remains in the back of my mind, taunting me.

    And, I am absolutely, 100% certain, if anything ever did happen to The Husband, he would find a way to come back and haunt me FOREVER.

  7. So sad, and such an amazing individual.

  8. I remember your tribute to him back in February. He's a real hero.

    Your story about the Idaho State Fair is amazing!!!

  9. Deepest condolences. You've written a truly beautiful eulogy for him, though. I was very touched by it.

  10. What a beautiful and touching story. I've had experiences of my own with loved ones making their presence known after death, and it always brings a smile to my face to think about it.

  11. thank you for sharing, for keeping Mike's memory alive.
    very moving and beautiful. lots of love on this page...

  12. What an awesome person! Such a sad sad shame his time here was so short.

  13. What a lovely story. Very touching. Made me wish I knew Mike.

  14. Such joy, such pain, this life on earth. You gave him a beautiful tribute.