Accompanied by my future husband, I first met Michael in April of 2010, in St. Louis. The occasion was the Cardinals’ season opener at Busch Stadium where we were treated to two fabulous box seats. Also on the agenda was a tour of the Botanical Garden where I snapped the picture below, my absolute favorite among the many thousands I’ve taken. That one red petal, an extraordinary anomaly of exquisite natural beauty, taken on the very day I met Michael, now holds very special meaning for me as a symbol of who Michael was—indeed extraordinary—a standout—but also fully unified with others in his tireless and very successful mission to make this world a better place.
While sharing a meal with him and Noémi, Leonard and I would sometimes ask about his day at work (he was never one to talk much about himself), but this is one reply I will never forget. He said: “It was a very good day. We were able to provide health insurance to another 50,000 souls.”
Not customers, not clients, but souls. That says it all, doesn’t it? Michael always spoke first and foremost from his heart as the compassionate, loving, one-of-a-kind human being we all knew him to be. We will miss him dearly.
Cindy McTee Slatkin