was a wonderful son and brother to two sisters and three
brothers. He had a contagious smile that tickled
everyone with joy. He loved
life and enjoyed the company of his family and friends.
He enjoyed sports especially playing football with his
brothers. He loved chocolate chip cookies. He enjoyed
singing in the youth choir at church. He enjoyed his
third grade class, Sunday school, vacation bible school
and playing on the playground. He loved to run and throw
and catch balls. He enjoyed spending time with his grandmother
and telling her little secrets. He enjoyed hearing stories
of all kinds that were read to him before he closed
his eyes each night.
Born a Treasure
Michael Anthony Hughes was born on the
way to the hospital in Berea, Ohio on December 24, 1983
at about 4:28pm. Our family was so happy because he
was our Christmas present for that year. At the age
of sixteen months Michael was dedicated to God at our
family church, Christian Fellowship Center located in
East Cleveland. Bishop Bill McKinney is the pastor.
Michael enjoyed going to church because he could be
a part of the children’s church with his brothers
and sisters. Michael has three sisters and three brothers
– Aisha, Ashley, Titanya, Ahmed, Latif, David.
As a baby, his sister Aisha would place him in her newspaper
carrier bag as she delivered her daily papers around
the neighborhood. All the neighbors enjoyed seeing him
peek out the newspaper carrier because even as a baby
he had a great big smile. He would also sit on his brothers’
papers and serve as a paper weight when they were sorting
their papers to prepare to deliver them.
Michael started attending the Berea Methodist
Church’s Nursery School for three days a week
when he was only 3 years old. This nursery school was
located just across the street from the Baldwin Wallace
University where the Cleveland Browns had their training
camp. Everyday during the summer and into the fall,
he would see the Brown’s practicing. I think that
was when he began to like football. His brother, David
would throw him the football and at this early age,
he would watch his older brothers play football with
their friends. His brothers called him “The Tagalong”.
He learned how to ride a two wheeler when he was four
years old and he would try to keep up with his sisters
when they would ride around the neighborhood. He also
liked to swing on the tire swing that was tied to the
big tree that we had in our back yard. He also liked
to play tag with his brothers and sisters in the backyard.
A Vivid Imagination
At the age of four years old, he moved
with his family to New York. The trip to New York was
a real adventure because the family traveled to New
York in an old van that they called the Turbo boost
Van because it only had two permanent seats and the
other seats were folding chairs that would fly to the
front of the van. When the family was just about to
go over the Throgneck Bridge, the van began to vibrate
so much until all the children wanted to jump out of
the van because they thought that the van was about
to blow up. Fortunately, the van did not blow up and
the family made it to the West Hempstead home of their
grandmother, Mrs. Gladys Ingram.
Michael started to attend the Davidson
Avenue School in September, 1988 where Mrs. Phyllis
Wright was the principal. In 1989, after a half year
of attending Davidson Avenue, Michael began attending
the Maurice Downing Elementary School. Mrs. Stopfer
and Mrs. Cole were his kindergarten teachers. He enjoyed
going to Maurice W. Downing School and looked forward
to getting on the bus every morning to go to school.
Questions from Above
The family started attending the Beth-El
Church of God in Christ located on Woodfield Road in
West Hempstead, NY. Michael joined the Angelic Choir
and sang with this children’s choir every 4th
Sunday which was Children’s Day. The older ladies
in the church said that Michael had healing hands because
if his little hands touched them when he hugged them
or touched their hands, they would feel much better.
One evening, Michael knocked on the door of his Mother’s
room and when she opened the door Michael asked me what
would she do if God took him to heaven? Then as suddenly
as Michael had entered the room, he left the room and
went back out to play.
On March 25th, 1993, just six
months after he asked that question, he left the house
after having his breakfast at approximately 8:25am on
his way to his bus stop. At 8:35am Michael’s friend
knocked on his mother’s door and told her that
Michael was sleeping on the sidewalk and that he would
not wake up. Michael was transported to Mercy Hospital
where he was pronounced dead of cardiac failure. Our
family later learned that Michael had a rare heart disease
called Hydrotropic Subaortic Stenosis. This disorder
affects the part of the heart that separates the chambers
of the heart which becomes so thick that the blood cannot
pass between the chambers so that the heart completely
shuts down and the person dies. Children that have this
disorder do not live beyond childhood. If this disorder
is diagnosed early then the child can have a heart operation
and live longer. This same child will also need to have
another operation while a teenager so that his/her life
will be prolonged.
Michael died never learning how to read.
His dream was to read. Michael Anthony Hughes Memorial
Library is dedicated in his honor because he loved books.