Sunday, September 25, 2016

Monarchs and Burr Oaks

I am grateful for a butterfly. My day started at 4:00 a.m. At some point, I opened an envelope containing Adam's last notes, and I was compelled to re-read those painful words.  I shed a few more tears while walking around the track at the Y. Earlier in the week, I was catapulted back to 1992 (?) when I heard the new country mash-up of "I Will Always Love You," "Country Roads," and "On the Road Again." Adam absolutely hated when we would sing along with Whitney Houston's version of  IWALY which played on the radio seemingly every five minutes when he was about 4. He would yell at us to "Stop Singing!!"

Looking at my calendar I realized I had been invited at 11:30 to a tree planting by Adam's high school class of 2006. A friend Max conceived and collected money from classmates at their recent reunion for a tree and plaque to be placed at Macomb High School in memory of classmates they have lost. I arrived early and watched the process and learned the steps to successful tree planting from Max's dad, the city arborist, however this was not an official duty, but done out of love. He was assisted by Michael T, stepping in for Max who has moved to the state of Vermont and couldn't see this happen. Another classmate Sarah G attended to remember her friend Suzie R who was killed in a car accident the summer after 8th grade.

I was able to sprinkle some of his ashes and a note in the hole before it was filled. Tim had remembered planting a tree in front of our house many years ago, and Adam slipping a note into the hole with his name on it. It was really sweet how he said Adam could now rest here, too.

The tree is a Burr Oak (also spelled Bur); no pretty fall colors, but a strong, large, shady native tree, one of Tim's favorites. As they were staking the tree, a Monarch butterfly passed over, a fitting sign.

Michael T and Tim H 

Sarah, Michael, me, Tim
Max's mom Suzan N served as photographer and supporter. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Grilled Cheese

I learned a few things last weekend from Adam's friends. His usual order at Red Robin was a Tavern Double, no mayo, no cheese. Typical Adam. Betsy and I ordered the Tavern Double with onion straws in his honor.

So, Adam wouldn't eat anything with cheese; mac and cheese, cheeseburgers, casseroles with cheese, tacos with cheese. EXCEPT grilled cheese and pizza with cheese.

Ashleigh (Adam's roommate) told me last weekend, he never let anyone make his grilled cheese, and he had a special dedicated grilled cheese pan.

Here's how a typical visit from Adam would begin.  No matter the time of day or night, somewhat sheepishly he would say, "Mom, could you make me two grilled cheese?" Whatever bread was on hand, (always wheat) and plain old American cheese, one slice per sandwich, fried in a pan with butter. Oh, I forgot. He didn't put butter on anything, EXCEPT grilled cheese. It was one of the few things Adam allowed me to do for him, and I enjoyed doing it. Doesn't every mom love to feed their kid?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September Sunday

For some reason this fall I am remembering a lot of events I experienced last fall: the start of school, a Labor Day parade, Al Sears Jazz Festival, attending Ethan's performance of Man of LaMancha, visiting my friend in New Town, tidying up the Japanese way, watching Making a Murderer, ordering Yankee candles from Cal to make money for his Guatemala trip, followed by the thought, "when Adam was alive." This may have been around the time last year when Adam met Bella. There are more heartbreaking milestones coming up to get through in this journey I wish I weren't on.

Here is some of the Springfield gang February 6, 2016 after Adam's memorial service.

Here are some of the same peeps, seven months and a few days later, gathering to honor Adam at Springfield's Out of the Darkness Walk. It was wonderful and humbling to be with these friends, even though my only wish is that we could have been together with Adam having fun.

I am now left with the sad hangover I get after visiting Springfield and Adam's friends who I only got to know after his passing. I can only imagine how strange and awful it must feel to have a lost a friend at such a young age. I pray for these young adults and am grateful for their love and support in these trying times.