#naphopomo 2013, Day 16: Meet Mike

21 Nov

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I met Mike Segal this morning during a visit at Ben Taub Hospital with my Mom. He came into the waiting area and said, “at 11am I’m going to have a support group in this room. I would like to tell you my story.” My initial thought was, “oh great, what’s this guy going to talk about.”  

Mike came back at 11am and shared that in 1981 he was shot in the head execution style during a robbery at a convenience story in Austin. Mike stopped by the convenience store to get $2 of gas with his girlfriend Sharon who stayed in the car while he went inside the store to pay. They were both students at UT and just finished a long night of studying. Mike survived but his doctors didn’t give him much hope to his quality of life. One of his doctors told him it was best not to focus on returning to college and to set “more realistic goals.” In 1986, Mike graduated with the highest honors from UT. He says he is a very determined and stubborn person.

Mike’s story is remarkable and truly inspiring. One of my favorite things he said during his talk is that in order to see the beauty in life you have to experience some unpleasantness. I couldn’t agree more. This week I’ve been reminded of this several times. Mike is inspiring because he survived against all odds and never gave up. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to complete his degree while still going through therapy three to five days a week but he did it. He didn’t make any excuses for himself and was determined. Listening to his story was a breathe of fresh air on a day that didn’t turned out the way I expected.  He brought different things into perspective and reminded me how important it is living each day to it’s fullest. I was humbled to hear story and can only wish others take the time to really listen to him. 

At the end of the talk he asked he we had any questions and of course I did. I wanted to know what happened with Sharon. Mike shared Sharon never left his side and have been married for more than 20 years. They have one daughter who recently graduated from College. Mike says Sharon taught him the definition of true love. Mike describes Sharon as his Miracle, a diamond in a world filled with problems, hurt and pain. 

Thank you Mike for sharing your story every wednesday in that hospital room. Thank you for sharing your wonderful spirit and positive outlook in life. Thank you for reminding me beauty can be found in the most unexpected places, and that we should always keep faith and hope alive.

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

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