Adam - last good bye
I am half way around the world in Singapore for work when my brother Travis called me. He says in calm sad voice "Adam died this weekend"...
My heart starts pounding and I feel short of breath. He must be joking. But he wasn't. He relates the pieces of the story about how things went wrong while I listen in disbelief. Adam is gone. No more weekday calls from Adam "hey Shawn, Pete and I are gonna run SSV tonight...you in?" And my response, "of course". I look at Adams number in my contacts on my cell phone...what do I do with that...should I call him...who will answer.
Over the last couple of years I have gotten to know Adam and have really come to appreciate him. We have frequenlty skiied and kayaked together. Adam was one of the friedliest, most genuine people I have had the pleasure of making friends with. He was also a rock...one of the most greceful, powerful and focused boaters I have boated with. I could look to Adam for guidance, river knowledge and reassurance. All of this in a guy who always smiled, never bragged and was first on the scene with a helping hand. Our friendship was really strarting to grow. Today I lost all of this and I am sad and confused.
Like any of us who were close to Adam, I am searching for answers and meaning in his death. Why him? Why not me? Why on this run? How could this happen to such a skilled and disciplined boather? I wrestle with what I should do now that Adam is gone. How should I change my boating, my risk taking, my life? If this could happen to Adam, it could happen to any of us...to me. The more I dig for answers and meaning, more they evade me until I finally settle on what must be my answer...
It is not in death that Adam has created meaning, but in how he lived.
In the short time I knew Adam, he brought a lot to my life in the form of friendship. What a guy! I can only imagine what he has brought to the lives of those who knew for much long or even for his entire life. How much he has enriched all of us. What is really sad is that his death brings to an end the ongoing enrichment. That knowledge is the void I am feeling now and nothing I can do will fill it. Time will pass, people will move on, but I truly hope that the great memories of getting to know Adam will not depart me.
Last week having just run SSV together, Adam commented that he must have run SSV over 100 times. This was his creek, he loved it and I will now always think of him when I paddle it. Adam buddy, safe journey and we'll see you on SSV soon.