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Forever Friends

I met Michael at a time when my life was not too great.
Thinking back I guess his too was probably second-rate.
He was a newcomer to our town, but you would never know it.
People were naturally drawn to him ... he loved it and he'd show it!

We met at a Toastmasters meeting - a place with no pretense.
Just people helping each other to re-build their confidence.
Actually there were three of us - we were always together.
We were the proverbial birds-of-a-feather.

Our lives were so very similar and yet lived differently -
The marriage, the house, the career, and the divorce eventually.
So here we were - Michael, Bob and me - learning not to sweat!
We thought that "making speeches" would help us to forget.

Michael was our speaking group's formative leader,
I was the weekly minutes keeper and Bob was the guest greeter.
His favorite word was "enthusiasm" ... his trademark, so to speak.
"Just be your best," was his challenge to us each and every week.

Louie Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" was his favorite song.
If only we could live by those lyrics. How could anyone go wrong?
He'd sing the words and wipe his mouth just like his man of choice.
He could imitate him perfectly right down to the gravelly voice.

It's funny about me and Michael and how our friendship grew
Into the kind of love affair that's known by very few.
Ours was purely Platonic although he was quite a catch.
He had a bright, infectious smile and a warm "hello" to match.

Of course, it was only fitting that Michael should hear it first
When Bob asked me to marry him. I thought that I would burst!
We'd go for coffee every week. We'd laugh and talk and fight.
We made a promise to "always be there" no matter what the plight.

I wish I could say nothing happened and we're together still today,
Sadly I can't, 'though God felt my lament, it just didn't work out that way.

It'll be seven years this Thanksgiving ... We still wonder but yet try
To understand why you chose suicide without one last good-bye.

We still talk about you. We laugh about your pranks.
We're doing fine. We've overcome our insecurities and angst.
We don't attend the meetings like we always had
They haven't the same meaning - they'd make us feel too sad.

But whenever I hear your song, Michael, happiness floods my mind.
Now I get it, Michael. How could I have been so blind?
You're our Guardian Angel! That was your destiny ...
To make sure we found each other ... your forever friends, Bob and me.

Thank you, Michael

Dedicated to
Michael J. Fleming
Our Guardian Angel and Forever Friend
who is now at peace ... "oh, yea!"

Written by Marina
(from the heart)
September 2000


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