Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Boy Who Smiled

We all know that everyone dies. It's a fact that we all learn from a very young age. Yet despite this a lot of people secretly believe we're immortal. It's hard for us to fathom that one day this life will end. Even Christians like myself who know that we're in God hands and we'll be in heaven one day often don't think about the idea that any moment now something could fall out of the sky, end my life here on Earth, and send me to heaven. Sure "one day" I'll die, but not tomorrow. Not next week. That day is far far off. I'm immortal.

Then something happens, something that reminds us that we're not immortal.

Someone we know dies. Someone we remember laughing, smiling, and joking dies. Someone who was so very much alive dies.

Mike McGahan died this week. You may have read about it in the news if you're from Central Florida or went to UF. If you're one of my friends from Atlanta, you don't know Mike. He's just a name to you.

To me, Mike McGahan was a boy I met in high school. Like me, he was an APEX student, which means nothing to people who didn't go to Olympia. What is meant for us is that we had pretty much every class together from sophomore year to senior year.

Most of my memories of Mike are him laughing or smiling. I also remember specifically in sophomore English that he would speak up and give his opinion - sometimes in contention to my own. Mike was part of the peanut gallery of students who always had a comment and an opinion in history class. However, unlike some of his classmates, Mike knew when to get serious - when it was time to be quiet and listen to the teacher.

It's been five years since I last saw Mike. In my mind he is still that laughing boy from senior year, tall and gangly with a smile on his face.

Mike McGahan died in Afghanistan where he was a combat engineer for the army. He was 23.

We all die. And it can come any time, whether 100 or 23.

Mike McGahan was a friend in high school, and my heart goes to his family - especially his wife, Miranda, who was also my friend in high school. God will be with them, and I don't know what His plan is - I don't pretend to know how this fits in - but everything is worked in the end for God's glory.

I shall forever remember Mike McGahan.

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