As a Thief in the Night: in Memory of Michael V. Nowicki

AnOldSinner is sad to report of the passing of Michael V. Nowicki.  Michael was my youngest daughter’s father-in-law, and the other grandpa of her three boys. Mike passed away unexpectedly during the early morning hours of March 20, 2013.  However, for the moment  I do not want to write about his passing.  I want to write about his life.

I met Mike when his son, Ryan, married my youngest daughter in 2001.  He was at that point simply the father of my new son-in-law, and it stayed that way for several years.  However, shortly after our first grandson was born, he and his wife Brenda moved to Texas. They wanted to be close to their first grandson, then their second grandson and then their third grandson.

Mike loved being a grandpa.  He was proud of his son, loved his daughter-in-law and adored those grand kids.  He and his wife Brenda quickly became part of AnOldSinner’s extended family.  They were not simply the in-laws.  They were part of the family.  Not only did they become part of our family, they quickly developed their own group of friends to replace the ones they’d left when they moved from Michigan.  That is the kind of folks they were, friendly, open and fun to be around.

At times, I was a little envious of Mike.  He was fully retired and now lived in the town where my daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren lived.  He could spend more time with that part of my family than I could.  Envious of his time with the kids I may have been, but I had no worries about him trying to take my place in the family.  Mike was as good-hearted as any man AnOldSinner has ever known. He will be sorely missed and our grandsons’ lives will be less rich because of his passing.

As noted earlier, Mike apparently passed away peacefully in the night.  Over the years, AnOldSinner has heard many people say, “I hope that is the way I go.”  Mostly, they were thinking of someone going to bed and just not waking up the next day.  They thought that was an easy way to go.  They thought it would painless.

No one knows what it is like to die in one’s sleep.  It may be completely painless.  One would certainly hope that is the case.  However, death is painful.  If not for the one who passed on, it is always painful for those left behind.  The Nowicki family and AnOldSinner’s family are dealing with that pain as this is written. One can only imagine the pain and grief  Mike’s wife Brenda and his sons Ryan and Jason are going through.

They are grieving for his passing.  They are grieving because they were not able to say good-bye.  The last time anyone saw him, they fully expected to see him alive and well, the next morning or in a few days.  Mostly, they are grieving because they will never hear him laugh again, never see his eyes light up when he sees his grandchildren, never argue with him again about sports and never again share a beer or a burger.

Death does come as a thief in the night.  Still, it did not steal from Mike.   His life is complete and he is with our Lord.  We may feel death stole from us, but we should remember our grief is a thing of this world.  Our time will come.  Until then, we miss him, and carry on without him.

Mike no longer needs our prayers.  However, those left behind do.  Please join AnOldSinner in praying for Mike’s wife Brenda, sons Ryan and Jason, their wives Brandi and Veronica, and the grandchildren, Landon, Caden, Ashton and Chase.  Give them the strenght to carry on without him.  To know a little more about Mike and the others who are grieving for him, click on the link below.

Rest in Peace Mike.

About S. Eric Jackson

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2 Responses to As a Thief in the Night: in Memory of Michael V. Nowicki

  1. Janet Nowicki Aspin says:

    Mr. Jackson, Thank you for writing this. Uncle Mike was the greatest! He was very special to me and I will miss him terribly. The world was a better place with Uncle Mike in it. My faith reassures me that he is in Gods kingdom. He was the kindest man, my new reminder to try to be a better person myself wil be, “Be like Mike”.

    Janet Nowicki Aspin

    • Janet,

      I just felt I had to do something. I tried to make the service, but I couldn’t work that out. This was just a way to pay respect to Mike and to let my friends who were praying for Brenda and the rest of the family know a little more about him. I wish I’d had more time to spend in Denton. I never got to make any of the just-the-guys outings he and Ryan put together. Most of our time together was with the grand kids, and we were both focused on the kids.

      “Be Like Mike” sounds like a good mantra.


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