Let me introduce you to Micael Claire Schmidt a.k.a. Mikey - (Claire is named after her middle name) This picture says it all:
This picture was taken in her Freshman piano class at ACU and I love it - her personality shins through. Mikey was a crazy girl! I'll never forget when I first met her. It was at a Marshall football game when we were in the 8th grade. It was at the beginning of November and she was with another friend of mine, Crystal. They were having a joint birthday party held at Northwest Church of Christ and invited me after we all huddled under a blanket cheering on the Rams! They were so sweet to include me after Mikey had just met me.
Mikey and I didn't go to the same middle school so we didn't see each other much after that until our first day of high school in the choir room. We became very close friends super fast. We went to dances, sang in concerts, auditioned together countless times, stalked our latest crushes, listened to The Cranberries and Green Day, went to Soul Quest, hung out at her house (ALWAYS at her house unless it was someone's birthday!), listened to each other when our hearts got broken, scrounged up change for taco Sunday at Taco Bell and had our share of spats to go along with it all.
Throughout our high school years, we became part of a group of 10 girls who were known as "the choir girls". We were close but didn't keep in touch as much as we should've when we went off to our separate colleges. That all changed when we got the call on Feb. 12th 1999, spring of our freshman year, that Mikey had died in a car accident on her way home from ACU for a funeral. I'll never forget all the details of that day and the feeling I had when Kate called. We were all in shock and disbelief. We had just gotten together over the Christmas break so how could this happen?
Needless to say, we all coped with it differently but I think that is why we all got better at staying in touch. This week will be the 10th anniversary of the accident which is hard to believe.
Mikey had a certain light about her - she loved the Lord and helped me a lot in my younger years as a Christian. She had this sort of confidence about her that amazes me as I look back and remember. It wasn't arrogance but she always seemed sure of herself and what she was doing. I know she had insecurities but this strength that she had was beyond her years. She always had an opinion and always seemed to know what she wanted. None of this wishy-washy stuff... Her long, dark hair and bright smile always so beautiful. She had the most perfect lips I've ever seen. Her top lip peaked just so - almost like a bow. She has this pure soprano voice that I could've listend to all day. Now, like I mentioned, we weren't always on the best of terms, just like sisters, but I always knew she'd be there for me. I wish I would've given her one last hug when I saw her the last time sitting in the blue chair at her parents house. She wasn't feeling well and we'd stayed up all night so it was just a quick see you later...
So Mikey is my Tuesday's Tribute because of how she has affected my life along with many others. Going through such tragedy at such a young age has certainly played a huge part in who I am today. I was SO angry at God and rebelled for a long time. That time of my life all the way until my Senior year of College were the hardest years for me but finding my way back to Him grew my faith. I know Neil and I are stronger people for all of it and we often wonder what she'd think about us two ending up together. Neil and I speak of her often and speak of death probably more than anyone I know. It's real and we've both been through it not just this once with our friends but a number of times since.
I pray that you take the time to give those you love a big hug and tell them exactly how you feel. You never know when it'll be the last one you get.
Here are some pics from high school. Not the best quality because they are old pics scanned and we weren't doing digital way back then!
Our freshman year at Mikey's house before the choir banquet. I went with her cousin Sean and she went with Clinton Haby!
Junior year prom - we both went with Seniors so got to hang out! She went with BJ and I went with Andy Wilson.
Senior year at the Madrigal Festival sipping coconuts