Greg & Eileen Belz
We were married 7 years before Mike was born. He was special kid to everyone from day one – our first child, my parent’s first grandchild and one of many grandchildren on his Dad’s side of the family. Mike’s first years were pretty typical – eating, sleeping, learning, exploring and growing. At age 2 ½ his brother Brian was born and Mike had to learn quickly to share the love and attention that used to be his alone. He started swimming lessons and playing t-ball at age 3. He began preschool at age 4, welcomed his sister at age 5 and also headed off to kindergarten that year. That was also the day he told me that he when he was old enough he wanted to go to St. Edward High School like his cousin – and he did! Even at a young age, he seemed to always know what he wanted, and worked at it until he made it happen.
Growing up with is brother and sister, there was the normal fun, fights, laughs, tears and squabbles. He was a good kid but like everyone else, did get into his share of trouble! Mike was always very competitive in everything he did. He wanted win at whatever he tried, whether it was playing a board game, winning a wrestling match with his brother in the basement, or winning at his favorite sport, hockey. He always had a smile on his face, and a mischievous look in his eye, which always kept us guessing.
His love for playing sports and love of life led him to meet and keep many good friends. But it was not until he went off to Kent State that he met his best friend and wife, Mary. When he called us after his first date with her, he said “I think you are really going to like her” – and he was right! Together they were unstoppable in whatever they did. They lived life to the fullest during their 5 short years of marriage. They truly put meaning into “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health . . .”
Mike never gave up during his 4 year and 3 month battle with brain cancer. He finished taking insurance classes, obtained his insurance license while on chemo treatments, and started a new career. Once again, he showed us his determination to win.
Our lives changed forever on that August morning. The days don’t get any easier. We miss him more each day. He will always be our first thought each morning and our last thought each night. We find strength in our faith and the love of our family and friends, and we hope that Mike’s memory, determination and love of life will continue to live on in the many lives he touched during his short time with us.