Michael Sena Memorial Fund
WE MISS YOU MIKE
I still hear the crowd chanting "Freeo, Sena, Freeo, Sena". I still feel your hand on my hand walking out of the locker room. I still feel the emotions running through my body. It is a feeling no one will ever understand besides me and you. Fast forward a couple of years and we both got into drugs without even knowing it. And it will be the toughest battle we ever had to face, "addiction". I can honestly say I am not sure where I would be right now if it wasn't for you. In the beginning of my journey trying to get clean I always looked up to you and admired how you took your sobriety so seriously. I’ll never forget the first AA meeting you brought me too. I didn’t want to go at all; I didn’t want to say anything, but you kept pushing me and pushing me and told me how good I would feel afterward. So we went in and at the end you got up and spoke for 2 minutes and I was amazed how you could do that in front of a bunch of strangers. So I waited about 5 minutes while you kept kicking me and shoving me and I stood up and told all of those strangers my problems. I never knew something so small could make you feel so big. The last time I went to rehab we were the closest we had ever been. When I got locked up and went to rehab YOU were the one on the phone with my mom while she cried to you and you kept her sane. YOU were the one talking to my girlfriend at the time making sure she was okay and giving her positive thoughts. And the day I came home, you were the one who came to my house and gave me that hug and told me that I was going to get it this time. There are not many people in the world that cared about his friends and even random people who needed help more then you. Sena, I love you and can honestly say you’re a huge reason of why I am clean today. This is the cleanest time I have ever had and I will never go back. That is my promise to you. I know you’re watching over me my brother. 21/12 forever man. I love you.
- Nick D.
Mike Sena was an amazing guy. Honestly, Mike was like the older brother I never had. His laugh was so loud and unique that whenever he laughed everyone did. While I was in Florida, Mike helped me out so much. He dragged me to meetings even when I didn't want to go, introduced me to so many people and always encouraged me to get a sponsor and work my steps. I felt like every day we would hang out, wake up and go to a meeting and then hang out all day. Mike would cook for everyone in our house and would not let you turn down his food and would always clean up behind everyone. I would always tell Mike how proud of him I was because it was clear how much progress he was making. We both got to the same house at the same time and eventually he became a manger. Mike is the reason I'm still sober today because he showed me how to have fun while being sober which is something none of my friends growing up ever did. Also Mike was a huge New Orleans Saints fan which is what actually brought us so close. He would play football with me for hours which no one else would do. Mike, I'm so grateful that we met and became so close. You made my time in Florida a blessing and I will never forget all the memories and great times we had. You showed me the way to live a clean and sober life the right way. I will continue to fight this disease every day in honor of you. I love you brother and you will always be a part of my life and sobriety.
- Nicholas B.
A little over a year ago I met Mike in the Palm Beach Treatment Center. He was the first person to welcome me, and he was my roommate. I remember he was being so nice and friendly to me that my head thought that he had ulterior motives, but after about a week I realized he was just a really good guy. He always would cook us dinner, and he would cook for anyone who wanted to eat. He was a really good cook; he loved teriyaki sauce for some reason. He would be the first one up in the morning and out in front of the building doing sprints, and all kinds of crazy physical activities. He always offered me breakfast too. I remember thinking “who does sprints at 5 in the morning!” He always spoke with passion about how serious he was about getting sober, and the amount of guilt he carried with him about hurting his family. I started to get much closer with Mike. We would work out together, and we would think about the same thing at the same time and he would say it out loud while I was thinking it, and vice versa. We were both perplexed with this kind of relativity we had in common. We could look at each other and know what we were thinking. We became best friends. He would always give me inspiration, and we would pray together before meals. He even read a goodbye letter to drugs that he shared on the day he left. By this point, a true friendship was established, and we swore we would hang out and go to meetings and do fun sober activities once I got out of treatment. Finally, the day came that I got out Mike and I started going to the gym together. We would hit the beach, go to meetings, and build each other up. We both had a fiery passion for recovery and I always looked at Mike as an older brother. I went to him with a lot of my problems because he was very big on loyalty as well as I, and I knew he would never say anything to anyone else. We were brothers.
- Timmy M.
Mike has ALWAYS been there for me. He introduced me to rehab and AA meetings. I haven't stayed clean since, as I’m sure many of us have relapsed from time to time; it is a life-long battle. If it wasn’t for Mike, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Fortunately, I was able to celebrate Christmas with my family this year, as 2 years ago I was in my 3rd rehab, but thanks to Mike telling me I needed to go and I had missed the holidays with my family. Although I didn’t stay clean, I got a few more months of beautiful clean memories with my family and friends. He made me feel like it was okay to accept that this was a serious problem 6 years ago. He gave me hope by all the success he had when I was at my lowest. Through countless talks and positive thoughts, I was able to get past some of my darkest times in my life. There aren’t enough words to speak about Sena in his memory. He truly wanted to help everyone that was struggling, especially those close to him. I know he’s smiling down now knowing we are doing well and in a good place, and will forever look after us. I love you my brother, and every time I am struggling, I will think about you or look at some pictures and hear you saying " let’s go, you got this bro." Love you my brother ❤
- Dave J.
Back in 2011 Mike asked me to help him find a place to get help. I was already in Daytop and although it probably wasn't the best place to go he came up and we ended up being roommates. Before then, we hung out a few times, but we were never best friends or anything; however, being in Daytop and being roommates I got to know a lot about him and he got to know a lot about me. We didn't walk away from Daytop best friends, but ever since than I always knew that I could go to him with anything and I knew he was actually listening and genuinely cared about me. I know after that Mike had his ups and downs, but ever since than I admired him because he was the first person I personally knew that showed me it's possible to get sober. He showed me
that it's possible to have a smile on my face and actually mean it. Our journeys took us different places, but we still talked from time to time and the last time we talked was when he moved down to Florida last year. I was in a really bad place in my life and I had just got out of jail and wasn't really optimistic about my future, but as always, Mike helped me see the bright side and helped me be hopeful. Unfortunately, I relapsed again and was in jail for the last year and found out he passed away. This was just a few days before I was to go to court and was getting out of jail. I was really upset I couldn't make it to his services, but a lot of stuff has been happening to me in my life since I've gotten out and came back to New York that I know isn't because of me. It's because someone is looking out for me and I can't help myself but to think it's Mike. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in my stuff, but then I remember why I'm fighting this awful disease and that there is hope and I really change. I feel so awful for your pain, but at the same time your pain is helping me so much and makes me want to fight this monster so much more because I have family that loves me just as much as you and your family loved him. It hurts thinking about him not being here, but for the rest of my life I'll think about him and thank him for helping me stay away from heroin one more day. There's so much I could say about Mike but I'm sure you already know anything I could say. I'm just super grateful I was lucky enough to have known him.
- Dylan D.
I'm not exactly sure the first time I interacted with Mike at St. Joe's. I always saw him doing his own little exercises and running laps around the field outside and never really thought twice about who this kid was. Eventually, I believe we had some groups together and our sense of humor immediately connected and I had made a friend. We were paired up on the same chore working in the kitchen and that's where our friendship really started I'd like to think. Messing around he'd always want to play this game where we would fill up the sink with boiling hot water and see who could take out the most dishes before chickening out. He always won because I never wanted to play. When it was time for our family session we became quite close. Just going through something so emotional and eye opening together made us realize that life can be so much better than any day we've lived up to that point. Mike would come down and visit me in the laundry room during the day and just relax and talk about the things we were feeling and about life in general. He always had a positive hope for himself and everyone around him. The last time I saw Mike was the day we left St. Joe's together. One last trip together before the real world was once again a part of our lives. One last trip to share memories of a summer I'll never forget. Even after my relapse and all my other issues that held me back, Mike was always there for me making sure I was alright. He kept in touch with my mom as well and she was always so proud of him and loved seeing him be as happy as one can be. Mike helped me realize that caring about other people isn't so people think you care about them. It's about knowing for yourself that you've been in worse situations and will always have someone to talk to if need be. His personality will never be matched by anyone ever again because he was truly a unique individual. Whenever the sun is shining bright just know that it’s his big unforgettable smile keeping us warm.
- Timmy L.
Mike was such an inspiration to me. He had my back no matter what. He taught me things that only a true friend could teach you in a way that you would get it. There are no words to express how much Mike was an impact on my life. He knew everything about me. Every time I made a decision I always think "what would Mike say to me" and that always seems to get me through. He helped me to budget my money, grocery shop, set boundaries with others, not be selfish, and love myself for me. Mike was and will always be my best friend, my brother, my partner in sobriety. I love and miss you Mike.!!! ♡
- Tori C.
When I first moved into the sober house in Riverhead on the 26th of December of 2014, Mike and I got along from the minute we met. We had the same interests working out, watching sports and talking about recovery. Over the course of a couple months we became very close and went to meetings together even after I had moved out. Mike was the one of the nicest people I've ever met. He would take his shirt off his back to help someone in need. Ever since he passed away, it's been very tough on me to know I'll never see him again, but I know he's watching over me every day. The world was a better place with Mike in it and everyone that ever met him are better people because of the impact he had on them. RIP Mike.
- Andrew Q.
…I want you all to know that I wish you could realize/ comprehend the positive impact Mike had on so many lives and how absolutely vital he was for me to be where I am today. It’s quite overwhelming to attempt to convey the love and genuine appreciation I have for your son/brother. I sincerely thank God for putting Michael in my life at such a pivotal time. He provided content and serene presence in our room that allowed me to escape the muck and mire of halfway house living. This air of peace, allowed me to begin to develop a relationship with God, with whom I rely so heavily on today. Even after a year and half of sober/clean time, I am still absolutely dependent on God. With all that being said, I can say with the utmost surety that I would not be where I am if it was not for Michael…
- Shawn P.