Mike Herman has done many things in his 69 years, but what he loves to do best is write. He is a self-described ordinary man living under the extraordinary conditions of his illness. This gentle, self-effacing man views his Parkinson’s disease as a blessing that has resulted in the gift of time: Time to write, time to pursue his dream. He is also aware that time is at a premium for him and that he must accomplish his goals now. There is a spirit and calling evident in Mike and his writing, a need to share and give to others from his experiences. It has become his avocation. Mike’s family enthusiastically supports his work: his wife proofreads his work, and one of his two sons established and maintains a web site for him centered on his writing; the other son works at marketing and sales of Mike’s books.
His job took him on the road frequently and as he drove he mentally composed stories to pass the time, which he later would relate to his family under the guise of “I read this book and the first chapter was….” His family always responded with interest to the “book excerpts” and said they wanted to read the books. Soon, his family found out that Mike wrote all the “book excerpts” in his mind.
Eventually, Mike began keeping logs and journals of his ideas and compositions. These writings were compiled into three books of essays and poems that Mike published: Silent Echoes, Other Silent Echoes, and Silent Echoes/Morning Whispers. Mike’s final and most important work will be completed posthumously by his wife and consists of a series of sealed letters he leaves for her from time to time with the instructions not to open until after his death or when he can no longer speak. (So if she feels she needs to hear from him and he cannot speak or move or otherwise communicate, she needs only to select one of these cards or letters from the box in which she stores them.) These missives consist of guidance, remembrances, and advice and will complete a collection called, “You Had a Husband Once. You Called Him Mike.”
- Silent Echoes makes even the most common things big and small come alive, so we can appreciate what we have in life.
- Other Silent Echoes touches more of the routine things of life even further than Silent Echoes. Mike feels that the first two books help people to get prepared for the third book.
- Silent Echoes/Morning Whispers is the one book he hoped to share with readers. In this book he offers essays and poems of the spiritual aspects of life – past, present and to come.
Mike now resides in Arizona.
From articles written by Marilyn Winkley and The Star Newspaper, Sun Prairie, WI