It’s amazing how someone you see for a few minutes five days a week can touch your life so much. My favorite bus driver, Michael Brinkley, passed away on July 30.

He had just turned 52 on July 13. He was a transplant to Minnesota, and he had that accent only Louisianans have. He had been with First Transit since November 2007.

He started driving in Plymouth on route 790. His last route was the 777 in the morning and 776 in the afternoon. He received the Plymouth Metrolink Driver Award in 2010 and 2012. He also helped with the family funeral home business in Louisiana.

I was one of his first riders of the day, riding route 747 from downtown to Plymouth at 5:10 in the morning. The group of us on the bus would spend the drive talking about life and local happenings, but mostly we listened to Mike tell stories about his life. He had that kind of personality that would brighten a person’s whole day.

I’m going to miss that in the mornings. I felt I needed to put something in the paper (since no obituary was published) to recognize how deeply Mike touched our lives. Rest in peace, Mike Brinkley — you will be missed.

Life is short. Live each day to its fullest. Take care of your health, your family and your friends.

JEAN MIER, Minneapolis