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Random Stuff: The true story of Mikey the painter

This one goes back to when I was much younger. Mikey was one of my brother's friends. He had a small group of friends who hung out together. One of the friends lost an eye due to a paper Chinese star being thrown by a sibling.
That incident happened just before the new year, thus incurring twice the deductible for medical care. That is a different story though. Ben who was one of the group was the more spoiled one of the group. His parents had more money than any of the other friends, so that was good
or so they thought. Mikey did not have things quite as easy. His dad kicked him out of the house while still a minor, so he had nowhere to go and no way to sign the leases needed even if he had money to rent. He was into graffiti art. I did not know him well enough to know if he
ever did graffiti on places without permission, but I do know that he did love to paint and did go across town and paint in certain places where he was allowed to make some artwork. We did let him stay for a short time so he would not be homeless, until he could get on his feet.
So, as it tends to do time passes. We lose track of Mikey. Ben's father helps my brother get into the computer/IT field, and I go to college.

Time passes and then we hear the bad news. Ben went out drinking, as he often did, and got into a car with a few others who had also been
drinking. There was a one car (and one tree) accident right in front of a school. That was the last thing Ben took part of in this life.

Fast forward quite a bit to years later. I am not the only one in my family that has a strong connection to the other side. My mom does as
well. As she knew Mikey far more than I did, she was told that he had died as well. Now that may or may not sound strange, but she found it really odd, because there are strict rules for what can and cannot be given across the veil. As that was information that we did not have,
but that was likely available somewhere, she thought it to be against the rules to be given this information, and therefore was confused. They repeated that he had passed and instructed her to verify that with her own research.

Now, we had been living in AZ for a while at that
point. We had been in California way back when Mikey, Ben, and my brother all were hanging around. So as Mikey was not in the same state, that further made it less likely that we could have unknowingly seen anything about his passing.

After three solid days of looking, mom did
find a lone article in a small local paper's website about a death that had happened roughly 4 years or so before that date. There were no other articles and it seems as though there would have been no way we ever would or could have known about this without being directly told
about it. So that was interesting. But it turns out that Mikey (he painted under a different name I believe) was playing video games one day when his roommate stabbed him to death.

I believe I have written about Mikey before, but I included more accurate and detailed info this
time so that his story can better be told. Sorry if I get any details wrong. He really was not my friend, but was more of a family friend.

If you know me at all, you know that for me the other side is a paradise that I have to try not to think about as it makes me sad not to be
there. Mikey was a different story. Everyone halfway decent gets glowed when first arriving so they feel amazing and that they are absolutely in the right place. The glow only can last for a while though.

As Mikey had been there for a few years before we even knew about that,
he had time For a different reality to set in. While I am the type that loves research, introspective things, and quite a lot of what amazing things they have there, it is a paradise for me. But Mikey was into a bit of a different lifestyle. He is a nice guy, but certain
activities must remain on Earth. Mikey was becoming increasingly lonely and sore that his friends were still alive and had chances to do many things that he was missing out on. I will not go into the exact details, partly because I do not know them all, and partly for his privacy
So our family friend Jim (who died before I was born) was assigned to help him out. Jim had a short time in a prison on the other side when he first arrived, but ever since had been given the chance to study and have his own little library. Jim thrived in ways no one here on
Earth that knew him would be likely to guess. So while Jim was from a very different generation, he did relate in many ways.

The reason I tell this long story is both because I am very happy with the progress Mikey has made recently, as well as to illustrate how long these
things take. This is NOT a made up story. It is real events that happened in real time.

So most of the past several years has been me occasionally hearing about this thing and that done to help Mikey see things that he can enjoy and really take pride in being a part of. While
no one has the freedom to just graffiti anywhere they want on the other side, but they did provide him and some others an area in which they can make whatever appropriate artwork they want to.

Since there are not all that many artists of that very specific type, he at first was
not overwhelmed with everything there for that art form, but he enjoyed it.

I know this may be a bit long and boring, but as Mikey is a family friend we have been trying to help for many years now, it is very nice that he now has made more progress.

Jim went to see him a couple
of days ago and has very good news. Mikey is using his role as one of the earlier artists of that genre (yes I know there were other artists in that genre that passed before mikey) to help out others. For one reason or another, a number of people who are really into graffiti art
Just happen to pass away at a much earlier age than the norm. Mikey is now an important resource for younger artists there and people who need help in that newer genre.

Additionally, Mikey is now the one helping out new arrivals like he was get used to being in a new place, with
very new rules. This is the way of things that older students help out younger students. Nothing new, exciting, or ground breaking about this story, but it is rewarding for me to hear it.

It has been so long, and we have tried so many things to help him turn a corner, and now
that there are rewards, it is a welcome relief.

Congrats to Mikey and his progress. We all knew he could do it.

Sorry for the long uneventful thread. I just wanted to go over more mundane things that go on. They may not be Earth shattering, but they are more similar
to challenges that many others we know here will face. Some take to the other side like a duck to water. Others have to take time and learn that there is more to life than drinking, work, parties, and sports.
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