R.I.P. Mike Lawless

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Mike Lawless, one of the guys who have worked for me regularly for the last 7 years here in the midtown area, died on Friday afternoon, when he had an epileptic seizure and collapsed onto the cement, falling directly onto the cement headfirst. He was 47. We will all miss him a lot.

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Mike was known for his funny stories, and he always seemed to have a knack for having ridiculous things happen to him (which made for more funny stories). I met Mike when I first bought a condemned house on 33rd street. I gave Mike an apartment in a basement of one of the other buildings we had down the street. He worked at Burger King for a while, and at the grocery store nearby for a while, but most of the last 7 years he did work for me. He was especially good at Sanding floors, painting, cleaning up apartments, and cleaning yards. This week he’d been raking leaves a lot.

Mike was a thoughtful and funny guy, and was enjoyed by most people who met him. He tended to be the life of the party/conversation, and had a memory for details that was amazing.  Sometimes he drove me crazy, sometimes I drove him crazy, but we both cared about each other a lot, and I am sad he went so young.

Mike had many struggles along the way, and there were periods of stability, periods of thriving, and then periods where things did not go well.  I’m sure I could have done a lot more for him, and I know he could have been a lot better to himself.  At times he seemed to live a charmed life (like when he got hit by a car on Dodge, thrown into the air, landing behind the car– but lived to tell about it) while at other times he seemed to be prone to bad luck (like the epileptic episodes, the degenerative hip disease he’d suffered at 35, requiring titanium hip replacements, or his proneness to accidents due to hurrying)  He had so much promise and talent in some ways, yet he never gave himself much chance to fully experience the benefits of those gifts.  For those who knew him well, his presence and wit and storytelling were all part of the gifts we received while we knew him.  We will miss him a lot.

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