Michael Jandrok left us at 2:18 am on November 10, 2019, surrounded by his loved ones in Lockhart, Texas. I’ve only known him for about 6 years or so, but I can say that he left not just me, but the world, a better place. Last week, when I found out he was going into in-home hospice, I found myself pulling over to the side of the road on my way to work because the words kept tumbling out of my head and I had to write them down. What followed was a rough draft of what ultimately became this poem.
We ask why do we die? A better question is why do we live.
We live to cherish the memories of others, a few hours we spent in the car to spend a few precious moments in your yard, watching ducks flap their wings in a pond you crafted as you spoke about raising them from hatchlings
We live to watch the sun rise, even over steel beams as the glare from mirrored glass reflects in my eyes as I drive into another dawn and contemplate the glory of a planet that rotates in a cold universe where my life seems so insignificant in comparison
We live to see the glory of nature, the beating of wings, the pounding of hooves, the roaring of waters.
We live because even when the warmth of beating hearts slows and becomes still, we are still comforted by the presence that remains.Miriam Rouziek, November 2019
Michael’s passing has opened a pretty big hole in all of our lives, but he left a pretty big imprint on us all. He really did leave us all better than he found us. And I’ll never forget him.