On the 18th February, Issa posted the following poignant and heartbreaking announcement:
I have no words to express my feelings right now; it is with deepest sorrow and sadness I have to announce that we have just had word that our beloved Michael (mikey444u), passed away this afternoon.
He was one of Eliters founders, a corporate staff for the last 4 years and above all a great friend. My heart is bleeding right now; I will miss you a lot my dearest friend Michael; we will never forget you.
Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers - Balouza
I have struggled to find the appropriate words by which to remember this man we were honored to count amongst our Eliter family. There have now been no less than 28 memorial tourneys hosted in his honor. There have been countless messages of love and grief - some of which will be incorporated into the Memorial Section - but I finally decided to let Mikey speak for himself.
Here are some choice words from his profile:
"Some Days are Dogs, Some Days are Diamonds. Treasure the Diamonds... "
God Grant me the strength to change what I can, to live in peace with what i can't, and to have the wisdom to know the difference.
Let not the weakest stumble, let not the strong prevail, Lord Grant me I remember, 'tis myself I should avail....
Mikey was always a true gentleman and great sport. He could always be counted on for a kind word and a helping hand. His compassion and spirit made him a very special man. Some time ago Mikey learnt that his father was suffering from a serious illness... below is an exchange of letters with a good friend of his, which shows the true measure of this man!
Some 10 days ago I learned that my Father was in serious trouble breathing, which arose in a very short time, and he also has a lump on his upper ribs, around the lung area. I am terrified I am about to lose the best man I have ever known. I will know more in the next 2 weeks or so, as he is undergoing X-rays and then seeing specialist.............
RESPONSE TO MIKEY
I am so sorry to hear about your Father. It sounds like we are very much alike in that my Father is also the greatest man I have ever known.
Spend as much time as you can with your Dad now and we will do OK without you, until you return. You will be missed but family is far more important than Elite.
If I can do anything at all, please do not hesitate to ask and take care, my friend.
If you can do anything for me at all, it would be to let your Father know how much you think of him, if you havn't done so already. Much as my Father is very considerate and thoughtful, both he and I are not 1st in line when expressing our emotions.
Please don't leave thoughts of him you hold to yourself until times like mine, as I have done.
In the very darkest hours... his spirit continues to shine. Let's take his admonition to heart and tell those you love, just how much they mean to you today!
He also cared about Pauline (freed0mgirl) deeply. They shared the last few years of Michael's life together in happiness.
Rest in peace Michael Rodgers - gone but never forgotten you have left your mark on all who knew you.
To read more about this Eliter click here