Most people think I'm a little different for posting on tombstones and memories associated with
the person. Especially for the shoe in the picture below. I will explain that story later but what I find so spiritual today is that I have been going to post this for quite some time but never felt I had the right words or if I should even post it. I had thought about it back in August on Michael's birthday, but somehow didn't feel I should. Today, I had some extra time at work and thought, I am going to post about Michael Pickering today. I went to the school website to obtain his obituary and was so suprised to see that today is the anniversary date of his death. I knew it was in November but did not remember the actual day.
Michael Pickering Michael Pickering, 16, Meta, died Nov. 30, 1999, at University of Missouri-Columbia Hospital and Clinics, from injuries sustained in a truck accident.
He was born Aug. 17, 1983, a son of Robert and Traci Bullock Pickering. His father survives in Meta. His mother and stepfather, Traci and David Teeter, survive in Ravenna, Mich.
A sophomore at Maries County R-1 High School, he was active in the Future Farmers of America. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Vienna.
Other survivors include: one brother, Tommy Pickering, Meta; two sisters, Rachael Pickering, Meta, and Olivia Teeter, Ravenna; two stepbrothers, David Teeter and Joshua Teeter, both of Ravenna; paternal grandmother, Joyce Pickering, Lincoln, England; and maternal grandmother and step grandfather, Ernie and Lois Gallant, Deer Park, Texas.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church. The Rev. Cameron Moles will officiate. Burial will be in Stokes Cemetery, Meta.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. today and from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, both at the church.
Memorials are suggested to the Stokes Cemetery Care Fund, or a charity of the donor's choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Birmingham-Martin Funeral Home, Vienna.
Michael was Todd's good friend, Tommy Pickering's brother. Todd spent alot of time at Tommy's throughout school and went on dog show trips with Tommy, Michael and Tommy's Mom. Just good people, good friends.
Sadly, Michael was killed in a truck accident just a few miles from our house. Such a sad and shocking time in these people's young lives.
I had drove into Rolla the day after and I saw a shoe right on the edge of the road. I picked it up and brought it home with me. It was Michael's shoe. Dwayne and April were very upset with me for doing this and Dwayne wanted me to throw it away. I couldn't, it was a link to Tommy's brother. I kept it hid in a trash bag in my closet. April wouldn't go anywhere near my closet for years. Todd didn't think it was right either, but he didn't say much.
I told Tommy about a year later that I had Michael's shoe. Wasn't sure what he would think of that, but he got a funny look on his face and said he would like to have it. Time went on and Tommy didn't come by for it and I didn't want to just take it to him. Then I got an idea to somehow fix it into a "shoe planter" and give to Tommy. My family thought I was absolutely nuts! My sister, Katie is good at crafts and I knew she would help me come up with something. A few years ago, I reluctantly gave up the shoe from it's safe keeping and gave it to Kate to fix for me. Kate then started having a rough time in her life, a divorce and many life changing events. I was so afraid she had lost the shoe through all of the happenings. In August of 2011, I asked Kate is she still had the shoe, thankfully, she did. I had made a copy of Michael's picture out of an old Year Book and copied the obituary. Kate laminated these together, made a ribbon out of camouflage and fixed the planter for me. It turned out so good.
I brought it to my work and called Tommy and told him what I had done with the shoe and we were going to meet in Vienna one day for him to pick it up. I hid it under my desk at work for a couple weeks. I figured the cleaning lady thought I was a little crazy.
I was going shopping with April one weekend last fall and I brought the shoe with me. I thought I would drop it off at Tommy's on my way home. We did not take my vehicle shopping and April totally avoided my truck when I was loading up my shopping bags before going home.
I started to get a little nervous, thinking maybe I had made a mistake in doing this. I couldn't remember exactly where Tommy lived but I saw an older white Ford truck in his dad's driveway so I pulled in there. Right after that Tommy's dad, Robert pulled in. I was so nervous. I told him what I had done and hoped that I wasn't offending him by coming by. He got tears in his eyes and said, no one ever talks about Michael anymore. He said there is not a day that goes by I don't think of him. He asked if he could see the shoe. I took him over to the truck and he picked up the shoe and looked at it. He said, you don't know how special this is to me, thank you. Whew! I was afraid I had made a huge etiquette error, etc. I told him Todd was keeping the area dedicated to Michael on Hwy E where the accident happened cleaned and we put flowers there. Our neighbor, Steve Snodgrass had put up a wooden cross there in honor of Michael. He said to tell Todd thanks for doing that. (I really don't think the family has ever been able to go over to the actual accident site) He then asked me if I had been over to the cemetery to see Michael's tombstone. I told him no and he said you need to go over before you go home. His eyes were all lit up as he talked about it. He said Michael loved animals so we have animals engraved on it and a deer statue by the stone. Hey, it's not just me that thinks a tombstone/grave site tells of a person's life and history. He thanked me once again and told me how to get to Tommy's.
I then went on over to Tommy's. Tommy was glad to see me but I think seeing Michael's shoe was too overwhelming for him. I felt really bad for him and thought I had made a big mistake in coming over. I think it just brought back so many memories for him. He then gave me a hug and said thank you, it meant alot to him. We talked for a few minutes (along with me trying to squeeze in a hug from his daughter, Kenadi). I told him his Dad wanted me to go see Michael's grave site before I went home. His face then lit up and he said, that's where Michael's shoe belongs, is with him. We visited a little and then he asked if I would mind taking the shoe over and placing it on Michael's grave as that was fitting it should be with him. I still feel kind of bad for Tommy though. I think the thought of picking up Michael's shoe was just too much for him. I, in no way meant to offend Tommy. I so hope and pray he was okay with it.
In Memory of Michael Pickering,
August 17, 1983 - November 30, 1999
I can't imagine the pain and suffering the Pickering family has endured. But they don't want people to forget Michael. If you have a memory you want to share of Michael, they would be glad to hear it.
I am grateful my intentions were greeted as what they were meant to be. A memory of Michael and the only article of his they were able to obtain after the accident. Family, don't take them for granted, enjoy and cherish each minute every day.