E&E RPCVs
My Memories of Mike Brady (page 3)
My Memories of Mike Brady
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2003 — a terrible year
In April 2003, Michael lost his dearest mother, Audrey. He was devastated by the loss. However, his students and friends did everything possible to comfort him — I wrote a poem called “In Loving Memory of Audrey.” He sent that poem all over the world, to whoever he knew, expressed his pride in producing people who could write such a poem to comfort him in his hard days. The poem was read at the funeral of his mother, and he informed me that a friend also read it on Mothers Day in another state. He was so proud and kept on telling me how touched he was by that poem. He also wrote a poem in memory of his mother and sent me a copy, which I loved so much. We all knew he was depressed by the death of Audrey, but our e-mails and calls from everywhere cheered him up.


Mike at the 40+1 Peace Corps Anniversary Celebration wearing his favorite hat — the E&E RPCVs hat with the flags of both countries 6/2002

     The last trip he made to Ethiopia was in late September 2003. He went there to attend a wedding ceremony of the daughter of one of his Ethiopian friends, Ato Melaku Mammo. Melaku Mammo was one of the teachers at Mettu St Gabriel School at the same time with Michael. One can imagine that meeting Michael once means making a friend for life. He kept in touch with all of his colleagues and students all these years. He returned to Tacoma on October 12, 2003.
     While in Ethiopia, he had an offer from an Irish organization to return to Ethiopia to serve as a medical doctor. That was an exciting proposal that Michael was seriously considering. Unfortunately, Michael did not live to accept the offer and make his whole life dreams come true. A tragedy hit his family and all of us who loved him so much.
     His sisters called him one Thursday night to invite him to Friday evening dinner and there was no answer. They were a bit concerned, but did not worry much at first thinking he might have gone to see one of his Ethiopian friends, as Ethiopia and Ethiopians are his obsession. Later, they started calling every home of Ethiopians they knew, but nobody confirmed having seen him. Friday came and there was no sign of Michael. Next morning, Damien, Michael’s nephew, went to his home to check, just in case. He knocked at the door and waited. There was no answer. He carefully took a look from the outside. To his horror, he could see, part of Michael’s legs stretched down from the sofa, as if he was in a deep sleep. The police were called in to check out, and broke the door and went in. They found our dearest, beloved and angelic faced Michael, passed away peacefully, sitting on the sofa with the picture album of his mother on his lap.

Ethiopia lost a great friend, who had been loyal to her, up to the last minutes of his life. He is absolutely irreplaceable. Many of us are devastated by the news of the loss. However, Michael’s legacy continues to live through his family members and in the hearts and minds of each one of us, particularly his students, who are indeed his children and loved him to bits.
     It was decided by the family, that following his cremation, family members would travel to Ethiopia to take Michael’s ashes and spread part of them in The River Sore, in the town of Mettu.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Wondimu Mekonnen
One of Michael’s Students and friends
London, UK
1 October 2003

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