The Dash

Julie Sveen sent me this link and I don’t think either her or the people who did the video would mind me referring to it here. She said it reminded her of Mike, but I suspect a lot of things do these days. Anyway, I liked it and thought it was worth recording here.

Go this link:


From Julie to Mike

Julie Sveen sent me a very nice email about the last day Mike was alive and news of the funeral. Since I was unable to get there myself, I really appreciated the information. I’ve edited it a little, but I though you all would like to know some of this.

I have had every intention to call you and just have not had the energy to get that done along with all the things that I have to do here to try and get things in order! I just have been reeling with all that has to be done to put order to all the things that Mike and I thought we had taken care of only now to find out that we didn’t really have the tip of the iceberg done. I have so much paperwork to do and than there is the bills that I can’t even pay because the money is in his account and it only had his name on it so that I have to wait 30 days before I can get to it! We thought we had this covered when we did his will and had me as power of attorney only to find out that is only good until the person dies. So that just opened a whole new can of worms. Plus trying to find all the important papers like the title to the van, the deed to the house ect…But it is starting to come together slowly but surely. I have gotten memorials that have just about covered the funeral, but still owe a lot. So I have to transfer the loan on the van into my name(he had it in his name only, because at tax time we were going to get another vehicle and put it in my name to get me some credit) but the Lord called him home first. So I have to rework the loan on the van and we are just going to add the last to the funeral into it so that I can take care of that and it will be done. We received some in memorials, but there was no life insurance so it is all coming from the memorials and than what I can do.

I just want you to know that, he knew that you tried to get there and you are not to worry about that and beat yourself up for not being able to get here. He would be so upset if he knew that you were doing this. I also want to let you know that he did NOT struggle when the time came! I woke the girls and let them know that he was passing across and told them they needed to give him a final love and let go, Jo cried and said she just couldn’t and I just told her for her sake and his she had to or she would beat herself up later and she reached over kissed him, gave him a hug and told him to go home and rest. She flew out of the room, and than Kitty did the same, so the last was just Mike and I and I just told him that I loved him forever and always, he exhaled and crossed! Jim, it was sweet and heartbreaking all in one! But the neat thing is that he walked with God all the time and back when we went for our patriarchal blessings his told him that his time would be sweet and there would be no pain…and there wasn’t! What a blessing! I know this is hard for you to read, but I just know that he would want you to know and that you where there with us in spirit. That means the world to all of us! We now have to try and carry on the best that we can and start this new journey that has him on the other side, but he is watching us and he is busy at the Lord’s work there too! Just as he did in this life, he will be diligent there as well. He will always be close to us in our hearts and Mike’s candle is one that can not be put out. He would not be hidden under a bushel basket for he would burn the basket and shine forth even brighter than before. His is a legacy of love of family, a smile for everyone that crossed his path and he always had time to stop and talk to everyone about anything! This is a legacy that will be here for all time, it is not something that will end just because he is no longer here, but will live on in all those he touched.

Just to show how many he touched, when the funeral was done and we were taking to place him in the hearst, we stepped outside of the stake center and there was channels 47 and 10 filming! He made the news on Fox and KTTC. The jest of the memorial was a familiar voice was laid to rest and though he lost his battle with cancer he will forever be remembered for his 30+ years in radio and for the city council and all those that knew him would miss him and his smile! Now if that doesn’t sound like Mike, well I don’t know what does, and what a tribute! I never dreamed in a million years that he would make the news.

Part of me is glad that he is no longer suffering but part of me feels guilty for feeling relief that it is over. I miss him terrible, it just is so darn quiet here in the house when the girls are gone! He isn’t picking on me and calling me “squishy”! Who would have ever thought that I would miss that! I have not really been sleeping well because he isn’t there, the girls are actually doing better than I thought they would. We have only had a couple of break downs, but that is to be expected. I think they are holding it together much better than I am, but they always have. I just want you to know that even though you and Mike were best friends that I considered you as part of the family and expect you to keep in touch and we need to work out a way to get the two families together. I know that it will take me awhile to pull everything together but I plan on get there or getting you here so that we can celebrate Mike’s life. That is what he would have wanted, not for us to morne for a long time but to celebrate him. He is free and he is whole again! That is what we need to hang on to. Please keep in touch and don’t be a stranger, I love you like a brother! I will be reading your blog, I just need some time to readjust myself to this new roll as a widow and single mom. I never dreamed that I would be a single mother again, but I did it once before and I know that I can do it again, this time I just have more help from the other side is all.
Jim and Barb, know that we love you and we will always be here for you. We have decided to stay here in Southern Minnesota until Kitty graduates due to the fact that she has some really amazing teachers that are honing her talents in the art and musical fields! I just don’t think I could find them anywhere else! I love you both and miss you too. God bless you both and just know that you are in our prayers.
Love always
Julie and girls

Tribute to Mike Sveen, Part 1

On January 6 early in the morning, my best friend, Mike Sveen lost his battle with cancer and slipped into the next life. I am deeply saddened. I was trying to reach him before he passed away, but weather just wouldn’t let us. I did talk to him on the phone one last time on Saturday and that’ll have to be my closure for now.

I will see him again. I am now motivated to live the kind of life that will help me to get to the same kingdom he is surely in, the Celestial kingdom. I have no doubt he is there now and I hope he is waiting for me.

Here are my thoughts on Mike (in no particular order). This is just part 1. I will add more later as I think of stuff. Maybe this can go into the final biography that I will be working on this year. You know I love ya like a brother, man. Your pain is done. Now it’s up to the rest of us. Here are my thoughts, so far:

I have known my friend, Mike Sveen for almost 30 years. We met when Al Currit and he were assigned as our Home Teachers in Eyota, MN. It was about 1980 or 1981. The two would show up every month and when Mike found out I was interested in popular music and had a record collection, it was like magic was happening. We would leave Alan to sit and talk to the rest of the family, while he and I went up to my study to look at my collection. Alan would continue to Home Teach until he was done and then he would yell at Mike and the two of them would leave. Sometimes, it was hard to drag Mike away to the next family.

I can remember many days spent in the study looking a records and talking about them and playing them. At one point in time, Mike created what he called :”The List That Would Never Be Found”. It took me less than a year to find all the songs on the list. That was so much fun, playing songs that Mike didn’t think I could ever find.

We started the “Number One Project” sometime in the 80’s. I had a form of that that went back to the 60’s. When I was a student at BYU, I met a fellow named Ian Hyde. He was from Australia and had an interest in music like I did. We sat around thinking how hard would it be to get every song that had reached the “Top 40”. We used the Top 40 because of Casey Casum and the show he did on the radio. I knew that you couldn’t find the songs if you didn’t know what they were, so I used to spend hours in the BYU library looking through the microfilm records of Billboard magazine. I developed a system for copying out the top 40 records for each week.

Those were fun years. The notebooks that contained the lists of charts were precious to me. And when Mike came along, he was amazed at the work that I had done. I had been trying to get every song that ever hit the Top 40. I now have that pretty well complete for the rock years, 1955 until 1999.

I stopped following popular music when the century rolled over. I was tired of the way music was heading. I did not like hip hop and the 90’s were full of it. The Fifties are my favorite decade for music, but the 80’s are my favorite decade for Mike. He spent much of that decade at my house. We would sit in the basement and watch MTV non-stop on television. You can’t imagine how much fun it was to compare notes on the music and try to stump the other with trivia questions.

I used to think about trivia that Mike might not know. It was tough. I seldom came up with a question he could not answer. Every now and then I would do it. I miss Mike terribly. I had this vision of he and I sitting on some porch somewhere, like Andy Taylor and Barney Fife and whiling away our retirement talking about music and the past. I can think of no better way to spend my last years. Now that will never happen and it makes me tremendously sad.

I remember making jokes about everything. We would laugh about everything. Mostly, we joked about women and sometimes about Karen without telling her. She would bring us cookies and he would eat anything, even the burnt ones. We always teased Mike that he could eat the rest of us under the table whenever he stayed over for dinner.

My kids liked Mike. He always teased them and they liked that. David told me about a time when Mike took him back to the psych unit. Just the two of them. For some reason, I didn’t go along. David remembers that fondly.

I invite my kids to put how they remember Mike and anything special they remember about his impact on our family in the comments. I would love to know what you thought of him.

More later……

Dad, Jim

“I Am Legend”

David and I went to see the movie “I Am Legend” at the local theater this past Monday. Barb didn’t think it was her kind of movie, so she didn’t go. She missed a masterpiece. David and I both thought it was awesome. It is a very tense, not for little kids movie that shows what might happen if you were the last living man on the face of the earth. Will Smith does a great job. I would recommend this movie to almost anyone.  We enjoyed it very much. I would go so far as to say it was one of the best I have seen this year (2007). Go see it!!