Two years ago today, my friend Mike Kic died. I think about him all the time.
Earlier this year, I received a text from his wife. She wanted me to have his #13 Brett Lawrie Blue Jays jersey. I couldn't think of a better way to honour his memory than by wearing his jersey and telling everyone who would listen who it belonged to and what an amazing guy he was.
Even the long bike ride last week to pick up the jersey was cathartic. I thought of all those ball games I played at third base with Kic behind me in LF, how passionate he was about our Jays, how he'd heckle opposing players with such zest and what he would have thought of Joey Bats's bat flip. He would have absolutely loved that.
I'm going to cherish Kic's jersey, but it's not going to hang in some closet collecting dust. I'm going to do what he'd have wanted me to do. I'm going to wear the shit out of it.... forever.
In this 154th episode, Mike chats with singer-songwriter Emm Gryner about her work with David Bowie, Chris Hadfield and Trent Severn, her role in One Week, and her song Visiting Hours about my dear friend Mike Kic. This episode is exactly 51:05.
You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:
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I just learned on Facebook that my pal Jordy is cancelling my buddy Mike Kic's phone plan. Jordy was married to Mike Kic. I say "was" because Mike Kic passed away a little over a year ago.
Hearing that Mike Kic's phone plan was being cancelled meant one thing to me. If I wanted to hear his voice mail greeting again, I'd have to call now before it disappeared forever.
So I called, recorded his greeting to MP3, and shared it with Jordy and all of Mike Kic's Facebook friends. And now, I'm sharing it with you.
The Raptors have started the season an impressive 5-1, the best start in franchise history.
In April, the biggest Raptors fan I knew passed away. His burial spot is not marked by a gravestone or marker, but by a "WE THE NORTH" flag.
I'm just sorry he's not here to see this hot start. He'd have dug it the most.
My buddy Kic died six months ago today. He was one of my favourite people in the world and I really miss him.
I'll always know how long it's been since Kic passed because it happened 3 days after my son was born. When Jarvis turns one, I'll know it's been a year since we lost Kic. When Jarvis turns ten, I'll know it's been a decade. The anniversaries will be linked for the rest of my life.
Sometimes, when I'm missing Kic, I'll read his old tweets. Often I'll even retweet one. Yesterday, during Hockey Night in Canada, I retweeted something he wrote about hating Glenn Healy. It was even retweeted by a few people, and for a split second, it was as if Kic was still with us. I liked that feeling.
Ok...how do we get Glen Healy fired? Because clearly his lack of hockey knowledge and broadcasting skills isn't enough! #FireHealy— Kicster (@mikekic) December 22, 2013
Six years ago, I shared a Future Shop ad featuring my friend Mike Kic. It wasn't his only claim to fame.
At the 40 second mark of Emm Gryner's video for Beautiful Things, a guy in a suit walks into an elevator. He's on a cell phone and looks rather annoyed. Click here to start the video at that exact moment.
That man was also Mike Kic. As a gag a few years ago, I had my friend CJ tweet at Kic pretending to recognize him from the obscure Future Shop ad. We had him fooled, and then I had her pretend to recognize him from the Emm Gryner video. That's when the jig was up.
Yesterday, was a great day. In fact, it was one of those all-time wonderful days that I'll remember forever. I enjoyed my first day with baby Jarvis and got to introduce James and Michelle to their new brother.
It was awesome.
At about 6pm, James, Michelle and I decided to make the trip from St. Joe's to Princess Margaret to visit my good friend Mike Kic. In his room on the 17th floor, Michelle told the story of how she named Jarvis, James promised everyone he wouldn't beat me up when he's bigger than me, and I reminisced with Mike Kic about our days playing ball together, this Raptors team he sold me on and shared the story of Jarvis's birth.
Then, when it was time to go, Kic and I exchanged exploding fist-bumps, as we have every week of every summer for well over a decade. It was likely our 300th fist-bump, and our last.
And that's what the kids and I talked about on the ride back to St. Joe's. One day you're saying hello to someone who will be a key part of your life forever, the next you're saying goodbye to a dear friend.
@torontomike love you too brother!— Kicster (@mikekic) December 10, 2013
I've played on the same slo-pitch team for well over a decade now. Some of the parts change, but the core of this team has stayed intact since the early 2000s. As I bounced around the infield, there's only been one man in left field, and that's been Mike Kic.
In addition to being Storm's left fielder, Mike Kic is one of the very best people I know. When Mike Kic married fellow Storm teammate Jordy in 2008, I was honoured to be there. In addition to being a dear friend, Mike Kic is also bananas. I wouldn't have got married in June without him in attendance.
Mike Kic was recently diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer. On Friday, he begins treatment. The fight is on so I'm going to do what I've always done when Mike Kic prepares to battle. I'm betting on Kic.
I spent yesterday evening at Berkeley Church on Queen Street East between Sherbourne and Parliament. I was there to witness two of my ball players exchange vows.
Raging Storm, the slo-pitch team I manage and play for, used to be called Hooray For Everything. I'm a founding member of this team that formed about eight or nine years ago, and one of the members of that inaugural squad was Jordy, a nice girl who was working at HMV at the time.
A season or two later, we added a young guy by the name of Mike Kic. Another season went by before I realized Jordy and Kic had coupled up. The two have been core members of the team ever since and even play on my dodgeball team.
I'm not a big fan of weddings. All the pomp and circumstance rubs me the wrong way. Last night, at the very cool Berkeley Church, I enjoyed a very cool wedding. The ceremony was short and very sweet, the speeches were heart felt and sincere and the vibe was comfy and joyous. It was my kind of wedding.
There are four female players on Raging Storm, and all four are going to get hitched in the next year. Kic and Jordy were first to bat and they hit a home run. Congrats, kids. Cito is proud of you.
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