Yesterday, we held a memorial service for my oldest brother, Michael Asher Linton. He was only 33 years old, and after a very long month of fighting Covid, he went home to rest in the presence of his Creator. I am so grateful for the assurance that I will indeed see my brother again in the Eternal Kingdom.
But today I miss him. Today, I mourn my loss.
Michael was much younger than me. I remember the day my mom went around the corner to Marion General Hospital and brought home Michael. My mom had brought home dozens of babies over the years. But this would be different. Most of the babies she brought home only stayed a week or two and then went to live with an adoptive family or a biological relative. Michael’s biological parents loved him and desperately wanted to have children. But they did not have the ability to care for children. They did not have a support system to help them either. Michael was a smiley baby boy from the day he was born. Even though he often had health issues like asthma, he never let it keep him down. Michael would become the first adopted sibling in our family, but when he was one his brother Alex came along and mom went over to the hospital and brought him home too. These two little cub bears were so fun and filled our home with so much joy.
They kept mom and dad young and on their toes. They were always up to some adventure. If it wasn’t figuring out how to climb on top of the refrigerator to get a snack, it was getting in a car and together figuring out how to back out of the drive way at age 3 and 4. Michael and Alex, Alex and Michael always together and always on an adventure.
Being the first brother in our family, we all called Michael, Bubba. Michael loved sports. All kinds. He especially enjoyed softball and bowling with his special Olympics teams. But his favorite sport was definitely basketball. He loved learning to play sports, and later teaching others what he learned.
For as long as I can remember, Bubba knew no stranger. He would greet everyone with his famous, “Hiyo.” He could talk Detroit Tigers or Lions with anyone. He especially loved babies and children. Michael would hold a baby for hours and he would play with little kids and even teach them in such a loving and kind way. And there wasn’t anyone Bubba didn’t love. He didn’t care who you were, where you came from, how you looked, how old or young you were, or if others didn’t like you. To Bubba everyone was a person of value and deserved to be loved and included.
Bubba would walk to the park near his group home in Charlotte almost everyday. The community of Charlotte grew to know and love him. He would bring his basketballs and gather anyone he could for “basketball Camp.”
Bubba loved church and he loved Jesus. He loved helping at church with the children.
Bubba was a business man too. Always thinking of ways to make some money. Selling cool-aid out of pickle jars, or pop at my garage sale, he sold worm compost, fresh garden produce, he sold my chickens eggs, he sold firewood, etc. But the most amazing thing was when you bought something from Bubba you got so much more than what you paid for. Everyone who stopped to buy something from him, got a moment of undivided attention from Michael that came with a sincere smile and genuine love.
Bubba’s most famous business was his Mighty Mike’s Babysitting business. Michael took CPR/First Aid, baby-siting training, and more and became a certified baby sitter. He loved being a mother’s helper, and often came to my house and spent the day playing with his nieces and nephews. He absolutely never met a child he didn’t adore.
If you really got blessed you would get one of his famous Bubba songs. Bubba loved singing and making up songs. Songs about Jesus, his super hero.
Michael didn’t go to college, in fact, Michael didn’t even go to regular public school. Michael didn’t know how to do a lot of things, and needed help with the day to day things of life, like grooming, and self care. But, what Michael did know and shared with the world was how to love. Michael knew Jesus as a friend. He talked with him and he walked with him. He knew Him, and He loved Him. Michael’s relationship with Jesus was the super secret super power that made him so special.
Michael has left us here, but his memory is a true blessing. My hope and prayer is that each life that was blessed by him, will share the the love they received from Michael with others. Like Michael, I hope that people will love everyone equally, they will include all, and most of all they will know that real super hero power come from Jesus.
In this video we have our final words from Bubba, and it is a forever reminder that our powers are given to us to us to share the love of Jesus with all people every where.