Andrew's #1 Daddy Man - Stories
On Sept. 20th, 2015, we tragically lost Michael Davis, along with another dear friend, Frank Suhar, in an auto accident. These two men brightened our days with their infectious smiles, abundance of humor, and outpouring of love. During the past month of grieving with their families, friends, and the community, I have seen how the life stories of Mike and Frank make loved ones feel more connected, not only to these men, but to each other as well. I have found the stories to be held at the center of my heart and helpful during the sadness we feel that accompanies losing those we love. They fill me up with the knowledge that these two men touched so many others with their smiles. They lived an adventurous, joyous life filled with music, good food, and the love of those that surrounded them.
Mike's legacy is continued in the eyes and smile of his 3 year old son Andrew. The bond and abundance of love that Mike had with Andrew could been seen by even strangers. I've never met a man so excited to share his life with his little guy. Teaching him, consoling him, laughing with him, and mostly loving him. Andrew was his everything.
My goal is to collect 100+ stories of Mike from friends, family, and the community. I would like to capture the stories being told both verbally and written. After collecting these memories, I need to organize them along with pictures, videos, Mike's favorite songs, sayings, and memorabilia for his love of Cleveland sports teams. I want Andrew to feel the love of his father and as he grows and to stay connected to the man that he called "Daddy".
The money collected will be used to get the supplies, computer programs, and equipment to record the memories verbally, in videos, and in hand written letters.
I am trying to set aside the time I put into my art business so that I can focus on gathering the recording, collecting, and editing the memories. After Mike passed, I made him a promise that I would make sure his family was ok by surrounding them with love and that I would do everything within my capabilities to make sure his son would always know who he was and always have a connection to him. I will accomplish this one way or another, but with your help, I can achieve creating this treasure with the time, compassion, and love it deserves.
I am so very grateful to have had over 30+ years of friendship and a year of love with Mike. I sincerely thank you for taking the time to listen to and support my project in saving Mike's stories. Please share often.
To those that would like to share their stories of Mike, please contact me via the contact button below and I will get back to you. Your stories don't have to be long. Even just sharing an experience you had with Mike will make a difference.
A very special thank you to a wonderful person, Nick Brilla. His help in creating this video, sharing his creativity, and believing in my project for Mike have been priceless. Namaste, my friend. wwwGreenGlowYoga.com
Video Credit: Nick Brilla - Guerrilla Snaps
I also want to thank David Sabol at ToldCle for allowing me to use audio from Told#11 and for creating an event that allows me to tell my stories.
It is in the memories and stories of those we have lost that teach lessons, heal hearts, and keep legacies alive.
Be safe out there and Happiest of Holidays to you all.
Mike's 37 years of living were filled with joy, laughter, dancing, and adventures. There is a lot of life to celebrate. I absorbed the generations of family and friends all sharing the sweetness of each other, being grateful, and taking part in warm embraces that just seem to say, "I know your pain. I love you." I fills me up every time I am surrounded by these lovely people.
The balloon release was Mike's mom Sherrie's idea. I felt as though when the balloons reached him each one would pop open and reveling a hug and a kiss that slaps him in the face with love. It felt as though his spirit was with us. Thank you Sherrie for thinking of the balloons. It was beautiful to witness and share in the moment.
A special "You Rock" to Karen, Mike's other mom. She is always the most amazing host. She did all the work of entertaining on such a tough day and is always putting her family needs above her own. She has such a lovely spirit.
Thank you to The Davis Aunts, Theresa and Sue, for writing such lovely stories about Mike, all your suggestions, and sharing your memories with me for the project.
I am looking at setting aside January to collect all the stories. November and December are my busiest time of the year and unfortunately, paying the bills come first. I am continuing to learn the editing software and organizing how we want everything to fit together, so when January comes I will be ready.
In the meantime, if anyone has a story, wants to send me a letter, a paragraph, or a sentence, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message through Facebook.
Thank you for all your continued support for the project and please continue to share. I believe together we can make a difference.
With all my love,
This is a story I shared at ToldCle on October 15th, 2015. It is somewhat like what I am working on for Mike's memories. It is my first try using the software, editing, and pulling it all together. I have a lot to learn, but am really excited.
Thank you David at ToldCLE for allowing me to use the audio and providing a safe space to share our stories. www.Toldstories.com
Beth you just can't imagine how much this means to our family. What a beautiful thing to do for Andrew. We are truly blessed to have you in our family. In doing this I hope it will help you heal.