Today, I started a tumblr dedicated to sending you letters, so that I can keep talking to you, no matter how far away you might seem.
I think it’s only right that I tell everyone exactly what happened.
For anyone who might not know:
This is my cousin Michael Medina, better known as MikeyWheels.
From the day I was born and Wheels was 3 months old, he’s been my best friend.
Mike was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, an illness that hits most people in the middle of their lives, when he was only 9 years old. I knew him when he could walk, when he had leg braces, and when he had to start using a wheelchair to get around.
Even though I’ve lived in Brooklyn all my life and Wheels moved to Staten Island pretty young, we were still best friends, and at the point in my life where I had pretty much no one else to lean on he introduced me to his best friends.
His best friends quickly became our brothers.
We spent the last few years as close friends, with me coming to Staten Island any time I could just to be able to spend time with Wheels and everyone.
Suffice it to say, we kicked ass.
Over the last 2 months or so, Wheels was in and out of the hospital for days at a time, his muscles weakening, making it harder to keep fluid out of his lungs and keep his blood pumping properly.
On February 13th, 2012, Mike passed away in the hospital from congestive heart failure. My parents, his mother and his sister and brother-in-law were with him.
His last words, after being resuscitated from his heart giving out the first time were “Mom, I’m ready, be strong for me.”
His wake was the following wednesday and thursday. An innumerable amount of people came, family, friends, teachers, and I greeted each and every one of them with the most sincere of thanks I could give.
On thursday night, my friends and I played music for Wheels. Eric and Anthony, two of our closest friends, played a song they wrote for him that day. I played a ukulele cover of Time of Your Life by Green day, the first rock song him and I ever really got into before our subsequent Green Day obsession.
On friday, I gave the eulogy. I still have it saved, and I’ll decide whether or not I should post it. It was simultaneously the most difficult and easiest thing I’ve ever written.
So Wheels, I figured this was a good way to keep in touch, wherever you are. And for people to hear any number of crazy stories we have from the old days.