A toast for a friend: Michael Lewis

By Dan Cunningham

Recently, Rockford lost a member of its community, Michael Lewis. Michael was an extremely active member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Some people speculated that he was more Anglican than her majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Tragically, Michael drove to Windsor in Ontario, Canada, and committed suicide. I have written a toast that I hope anyone who reads this will remember and offer a toast to my friend.

Michael, my friend, I wish you peace.

I wish the demons that tortured you and drove you to your grave find a place to rest far, far from you and are buried so deep as to never find another soul to inhabit.

I wish that through your beautiful blue eyes you could have seen the kind and compassionate and intelligent man that we all saw.

I wish that I had the insight to recognize the difference between the elevation of the spirit and the resignation of lost hope. And if I were blessed with that insight, I wish I could have been there for you, just as surely as you would have been there for anyone else.

I wish that wishes were something more than unfulfilled dreams.

If I had just one wish that was guaranteed to come true, Michael, my friend, I wish you peace.

If you have read this and offer a simple toast of wishing Michael peace and if enough people offer that simple toast, perhaps he will obtain the peace that eluded him in life.Thank you.

From the Oct. 2-8, 2013, issue

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