Every once in a while you meet someone who goes through extraordinary and difficult times, and throughout the entire episode, they remain the person that you've always known them to be. They say that you can only measure integrity at the times when it will cost a person.
I love Mike Sansone. I'm proud to call him my friend.
I first met Mike through my daughter. She worked at Panera in the wee hours of the morning back then, and she would come home and tell me about this amazing guy I should get to know. When she would see him come through the door, she would ready his bear claw. She loved regulars like Mike, and she found that Mike was a deep guy. The more she got to know him, the more she got to like him.
If you win my daughter over, you're good with me. My daughter's radar is tougher than my own. I met Mike and over the next two or three years, and we would have big conversations about life and technology, people and places. I learned things from these conversations. I trust that he did as well. I saw Mike interact with all kinds of folks, and I loved his consistency. He was the same sincere guy to everyone, always ready with a hug and a smile.
Recently, he went through some pretty difficult times. But even through all of it, he didn't change. I'm proud of him. He could have lowered himself and ranted and raved. But that's not Mike. Instead, he cried a bit and shrugged his shoulders and kept on walking through it all.
He's a good man, and my daughter, Bari, trusts him completely. Whatever his future holds, I know it will benefit those around him. Many people in Des Moines are better for knowing Mike. I'm glad to say that I'm one of them. Bari says that she is too.