We mourn the loss of our 16 year-old son, Michael . He was killed at 1:15 AM in a car-pedestrian accident on Saturday morning, January 18, 1997. The parents, Cindy Nix and Mike Swickey, have come together to honor their only son. At times like this, all earthly problems that cause division vanish into the tragedy and the mystery of death. Michael also is mourned by his 13 year old sister, Amanda, who loved her big brother with all she had. He was her hero. He is mourned and will always be missed by Stepmother Beverly Swickey, Grandmothers Norma Nelson and Connie Wilson, Great-Grandmother Erma Gammell, and Grandfather Carroll Swickey, and by so many aunts, uncles, and many cousins.
Michael was a sophomore at Putnam City High School in suburban Oklahoma City. He was a boy coming of age with a mind so active and bright. He loved his classes at school, especially Latin, as he was very fond of ancient history. Michael loved to read and learn of writers, poets, and musicians past and present. His musical tastes were as varied as his quest for knowledge about everything. He was just as comfortable with Bach and Tchaikovsky as with The Cure and other modern groups. He not only loved to listen to music, he loved to play music, and not others’ music, he liked to compose his own. Music was a real love for him. He was also a poet , writing two poems that was poetry at its finest: “Reminisce” and “Simple Gift”. We all knew he was going to grow up writing and working to change the many things he saw were wrong in society. He was a searching 16 year old, but at a level that astounded many. His compassion was sometimes breathtaking.
Memories of Michael are everywhere. The violence of his death is haunting. But, the memories we are left with will one day be used for positive change in this world, a testament to searching for truth and justice for all humankind. Our son’s death will not be in vain. We will carry on his thirst for justice, and his disgust at injustice all around us. We will remember him always as one who turned to music to soothe the sometimes stormy soul of a teenager trying to cope in the ’90s
Lastly, we remember Michael for his incredible sensitivity; his love and concern for family and friends, his support to his friends, and always showing great love to his parents. This is a 16 year old who never walked out the door of his home without giving a hug and telling those he loved, “I Love You”. One who never hung up the phone without saying “I Love You.” A rare jewel at 16. His sensitivity extended to animals as Michael had a love for animals of all kinds, especially cats and dogs. He loved and honored all living things.
Now, Michael is gone, we commit his spirit back to whence it came and grieve the loss of this special young man. Humanity has lost a great teenager, on the verge of becoming a man, and possessing everything needed to make a difference for this planet. No, he wasn’t perfect – what sixteen year old is? What PERSON is? Whether through his poems, his music, his disposition and compassion, humanity will miss all that he could have offered, and we all grieve at what might have been. Goodbye our dear son. May you rest in peace and know you will never be forgotten. We love you.
Love, Mom & Dad – and all who knew how special you were.